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Police alert system used to arrest New Hampshire man

About 40 miles west of Rochester, a New Hampshire town recently made use of its new police warning system.

As a result, law enforcement officials in Tilton said they arrested a Franklin man, 28, on charges of burglary and theft.

The man was then taken to Belknap County Jail where he was being held on the charges, as well as a probation violation.

Police said it was their first deployment of the "Alert Tilton" electronic messaging system in which residents are sent texts and emails about criminal activity. The messages were sent to computers and mobile devices on December 20, the town's police chief told a newspaper, warning residents of increased break-ins in a neighborhood.

The messages asked recipients to report suspicious activity.

A few days later, police received an early afternoon call about a man dressed in black moving through Tilton yards. Law enforcement officers then drove to the area, looking around until they found new footprints in the snow.

Officers followed the trail of footprints to a house that appeared to be unoccupied. The trail of prints went to the back door and then the front door. The front door appeared to have been forced open, officers said.

Officers apparently looked inside the house, because they spotted fresh snow and footprints on the floor inside the door.

Officers then set up around the house and called to the suspect to come out. Police eventually entered and found the man now facing charges.

After being taken into custody, he reportedly confessed to a number of break-ins in the area.

In similar situations, it can make more sense for a suspect to decline to speak to authorities until they have spoken with a criminal defense attorney about their rights, the evidence and charges against them and possible penalties.

Source: New Hampshire Union Leader, "New police warning system helps catch Tilton burglar," Dec. 27, 2013

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