LENOX -- Police arrested a suspect Wednesday afternoon following a wave of break-ins at businesses throughout the downtown historic district.
Two of the seven establishments hit late Tuesday night reported cash stolen. An investigation continues into an eighth break-in reported Sunday morning.
Timothy W. Welch, 44, of Pittsfield, was being held pending a court appearance Thursday on seven counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit a felony, as well as two counts of larceny from a building, also felonies, said Police Chief Stephen O'Brien.
He attributed the quick arrest to teamwork among three shifts of Lenox officers, following information developed soon after the breaks that was corroborated through further investigation.
The wide-ranging series of crimes -- highly unusual in downtown Lenox -- began with an alarm activated at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eviva, an upscale clothing and jewelry boutique at 22 Walker St., a short distance from Town Hall and the firehouse. Police responded and found that a rear cellar door had been forced open, but no losses were reported.
Officers on the overnight shift early Wednesday discovered four of the breaks, including the theft of less than $250 in cash from Lenox Coffee at 52A Main St.
Other businesses targeted included the Shear Design hair salon, where a window was broken but no entry was made; Second Home, a business at 53 Church St., where nothing was found missing; and Dr. Clifford
On Wednesday morning, owner Rick Sambuco found that his 18 Franklin St. eatery, That's a Wrap, had been burglarized with $120 missing from the cash register. Sambuco found a shovel nearby, and speculated that it might have been used to force open a side door after a window was shattered.
Sambuco, who expressed surprise something like this happened in Lenox, said money will no longer be left in the register. Sambuco plans to install a video surveillance unit that includes a motion detector.
Employees opening the Gifted Child toy store at 72 Church St. discovered a broken window when they arrived at work on Wednesday morning, but no sign that anyone had been able to get inside.
"It's weird when it hits here, this town is so quaint," said Rebecca Meizinger of New Lebanon, N.Y., who spent the morning cleaning up shattered glass throughout the small shop chock-a-block with toys. "It was a real bummer."
Police continue to investigate the break-in discovered Sunday morning at the Colorful Stitches knitting boutique, 48 Main St., where a forced entry through a smashed window resulted in the theft of about $750. The incident apparently occurred during the previous overnight period.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto