Woman on bicycle arrested for car break-ins

Melissa Hollister of Springfield was carrying many stolen items, police say

Melissa Hollister, 23, of Springfield, is accused of breaking into six unlocked cars in the city's Sixteen Acres neighborhood.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield police arrested a woman who they say was sweating and struggling to pedal her bicycle as she carried items stolen from cars. Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Melissa Hollister of Springfield is accused of breaking into six cars on Princess Road, Puritan Road, and Puritan Circle early Tuesday morning. They are also looking into whether she was responsible for 10 other car break-ins on nearby streets the night before.

According to Delaney, police had been looking for a suspect in those earlier break-ins, and had set-up surveillance in the neighborhood. Around 3:00 A.M. police spotted Hollister (a woman who Delaney says was known to them) riding a bike near Greenleaf Park. He said that Hollister was sweating and appeared to be carrying a lot of items with her. She was having a hard time pedaling.

Delaney says that officers stopped Hollister on nearby Vincent Street (where she lives), and discovered that she was carrying a computer tablet, a Nintendo DS, earbuds, gift cards, pens, carrying cases, phone chargers, bags of pumpkin seeds, and a cup holder. Officers accuse her of taking the items from unlocked cars, and police found six victims of the thefts.

Hollister is charged with six counts of breaking and entering into a motor vehicle and four counts of larceny over $250. She will be arraigned Tuesday in Springfield District Court.

Delaney says that the case serves as a reminder to residents to be sure to lock your doors and alarm your cars all the time; regardless of whether you park in public or on your own property.

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