Police arrest man suspected in string of motor vehicle breaks

SOUTHBRIDGE — A local man has been hit with dozens of charges after a recent string of motor vehicle breaks around town.

According to a statement from the Southbridge Police Department on Monday morning, Tommie Lee Goddard has been charged with 23 counts of breaking & entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony and with 19 counts of larceny under $1,200. Goddard’s arrest comes after a lengthy investigation into more than 20 motor vehicle breaks over a two-month span.

Police executed a search warrant at Goddard’s first floor apartment at 115 High Street on Friday, August 10 at approximately 10:30 a.m. Police said the search warrant was accompanied by an arrest warrant issued by Dudley District Court for Goddard’s apprehension. Goddard, 30, was suspected of committing numerous motor vehicle breaks and the subsequent larceny of property, police said.

As a result of the search warrant, Goddard was immediately taken into custody on the arrest warrant without incident. Several items were also secured as evidence which were believed to be stolen property as well as tools that were used that aided Goddard in committing the motor vehicle breaks in Southbridge.

During Monday night’s Southbridge Town Council meeting, chairman Jack Jovan applauded the efforts of local police and urged residents to report crimes, regardless of how small they may be. He noted that his own daughter’s vehicle had been broken into but no police report had been filed. Jovan said authorities had recovered some of his daughter’s belongings with her name on it, allowing them to positively identify her possessions despite the lack of a police report on her specific vehicle being broken into.

Goddard was held at Southbridge Police Headquarters over the weekend on no bail and was to be arraigned in Dudley District Court on Monday.

Goddard is not unknown to local law enforcement officers and has previously served time. In 2014, Goddard was spotlighted by Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis in an interview with WBZ. At the time, Goddard was serving 18 months for breaking and entering charges occurred in an effort to support his drug habit, according to the interview with WBZ’s Mary Blake. Reportedly sober at the time of the interview, Goddard told WBZ that programs run by the sheriff’s office had helped him battle his demons. “It gives me time to think about what I’ve done. It gives me improvement on my skill set. It gives me time to pay back to the community for everything I took from them,” Goddard told WBZ.

In October 2013, Goddard, then a Leicester resident, had been arrested after breaking into a Wild Willy’s Burgers on West Boylston Street in Worcester. He was charged with three counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, trespassing, willful and malicious destruction of property, larceny in a building, wanton destruction of property over $250, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace.


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