Homeless man booted from abandoned building

A homeless man was discovered living in an abandoned building at 120 Cross St. last week.
Police responded to the area on Friday after a local business owner reported suspicious activity in the area.

Jim Johnson, owner of Johnson Motor Sales, called police to the location after a number of his vehicles had their radiators removed, apparently for scrap metal.
According to the report, upon inspecting the abandoned building located directly in front of Johnson Motor Sales, police found a mattress, dresser, radio and folded laundry among other items set up in a makeshift bedroom.
During their inspection, police also discovered a former Dartmouth man hiding behind a vehicle parked inside the building. He had apparently been squatting in the run-down building for several days. The 35-year-old man gave police 19 Charter St., Dartmouth, as his most recent address.
His makeshift home was discovered due to an extension cord he had run onto Johnson’s property to get electricity.
Wicked Winchester 15/10/08
Police said the man had apparently gained entry to the building through a side door, which has a broken-out glass window.
According to the report, the squatter is in a relationship with a Winchester resident, which is why he has been living in town.
Police questioned the man about the recent thefts from Johnson’s business.
He denied any involvement, however, police found several power tools, including an electric saw that could have been used to remove the parts from Johnson’s vehicles, inside the building.
There was also a 12-foot ladder set up in the building, which was apparently being used to strip copper and other scrap metal from the interior of the building, police said.
All the copper from the circuit boards had also been removed.
William McMillan, the former owner of the building, was storing two cars in the building. They had also been stripped of materials.
Another man, Reynold Maher, who is a friend of McMillan’s, arrived on the scene and told police he had been working on cars inside the building for years.
Maher, however, said that he was in the building about two weeks ago, and at that time, the radiator of the antique car was still in tact.
None of the men claimed possession of the tools.
The squatter was told by police to pack his belongings and leave the building immediately. He was able to make contact with his girlfriend and was picked up from the scene. Police informed the man that if he returned to the property again he would be subject to arrest.
Police were unable to determine who currently owns the building and subsequently confiscated the tools and placed them in storage.
According to police, the squatter has a lengthy criminal history, including pending cases for breaking and entering and larceny. Although they didn’t arrest him, he police consider him to be a prime suspect in several thefts at Johnson Motor Sales.