On this story I have to credit one of my editors, Bruce Phillips, who’s name is pretty much never in the paper even though he designs and lays out the front page most nights around here.
Bruce called me Sunday morning about 1:20 a.m., to let me know there was a perp search involving a Massachusetts State Police canine in the area of Lincoln Parkway and Rindo Park Drive in Lowell.
Bruce said it sounded as if police were searching for someone who broke into the Daley Middle School, at 150 Fleming Street.
Bruce was correct.
You’ve gotta love editors who keep an ear on the scanner once you’re gone.
Police got an alarm call at the school about 12:56 a.m., and officers arrived to find two men in the lobby with several laptop computers.
Both men fled when they spotted officers, and vanished after a short foot pursuit.
Officers would later determine the men gained access to the school through the roof.
The state police canine tracked a scent to the end of Rindo Park Drive, where officers spotted a man who again began to flee. He wasn’t as fast as the state police canine, though, and the canine took him down.
Jonathan Ortega, 20, of Lowell, was charged with breaking and entering night, larceny over $250, resisting arrest, and violation of the city’s dangerous weapon ordinance.
Police say Ortega, who is pictured above in court on Monday in a picture taken by Lisa Redmond, had a stolen camera in his pocket and a spring-operated knife.
Police soon found a 16-year-old boy nearby as well, and he was charged as a juvenile with breaking and entering night and larceny over $250.
Deputy Superintendent Jay Lang told me Sunday that the school has been secured, and staff are going through the building to make sure nothing else was stolen.
Follow this link to read Lisa’s breaking news story on Ortega’s arraignment.