Elusive thief from string of crimes in Glocester captured after escape attempts by foot, water, ATV & boat

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GLOCESTER – The man accused of several recent thefts in and around the Glocester area was arrested in Massachusetts on Sunday following several botched attempts at escape from police that involved running, swimming, stalling an ATV and boarding two different boats.

Tyler Whitford, 30, of Manchester, N.H. was captured by Newbury, Mass. police on Sunday, June 25 and is facing charges from similar break-ins and car thefts in that town, and neighboring Rowley.

Glocester police had been searching for Whitford since he fled from a motor vehicle stop on Putnam Pike last Wednesday, June 21, ultimately crashing at the intersection of Route 94. Whitford reportedly fled on foot, leading to a three-hour long search of the surrounding woods, which included assistance from the Rhode Island State Police, Burrillville police, Foster police, K-9 units and two drones.

According to Glocester police, Whitford was seen on security cameras during two residential break-ins on Friday, June 23 in the area of Route 94 and Old Snake Hill Road. He reportedly stole property from both homes, including clothes in an attempt to conceal his identity.

Whitford also stole an ATV from one of the homes, and was observed entering the heavily wooded trail area at the end of Old Snake Hill Road, again leading to a lengthy search by the Glocester Police Department.

And it seems his crime spree did not end there.

On Sunday, Rowley police responded to a report of a possible breaking and entering around 12:30 p.m. Whitford attempted to escape on the same ATV previously stolen in Glocester, but drove through a large puddle and stalled, according to a report from the Essex-based Daily Voice.

Whitford again fled on foot, and police there were reportedly still searching the area when they received a call saying that he ran away from the Newbury Harbormaster in the Riverfront area of the neighboring Massachusetts town. When officers spotted him in the Riverfront area, he reportedly tried to board a boat, and then jumped into the water when police approached him. 

Whitford boarded a second boat and started its motor, but when he tried to drive off, he found that it was tied to the dock and the motor was lifted. He was finally captured after police deployed a Taser-like device, according to reports.

In Rowley he was charged with two counts of receiving stolen motor vehicles; breaking and entering; OUI drugs on a recreational vehicle; negligent operation of a recreational vehicle; disorderly conduct and failure to stop for police. Newbury Police charged him with larceny over $1,200; breaking and entering; disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

He was presented in the Newburyport District Court on Wednesday, June 28, and is being held as a violator.

Glocester police reportedly learned of the arrest on Wednesday after identifying Whitford, who originally was wanted for operating a vehicle reported stolen by police in Cambridge, Mass. Police said they intend to seek a warrant charging him for the break-ins and other crimes in Glocester, and that the incident is still under investigation.

The Glocester Police Department thanked members of the community that provided information and offered assistance to officers during this investigation, as well as the other agencies that provided assistance.

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