WESTFIELD, Mass. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS) – Pieces of an elderly woman’s jewelry were found scattered along Russell Road after a Westfield city man allegedly vandalized her home last week.
An astute neighbor of the Dana Street house that was robbed, notified police at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday to report seeing a suspicious male at the neighbor’s residence. Nine units responded to the area to search for the suspect and process the crime scene.
Despite having two canines, one from Chicopee and one from the Massachusetts State Police, the suspect eluded police at that time. “(The suspect) broke into and completely ransacked and destroyed everything,” Westfield Police Capt. Michael McCabe said Friday.
Police were able to catch up to the suspect approximately 24 hours later when a call for a medical emergency was received at 12:29 p.m. Thursday afternoon. A 23-year-old man had overdosed on heroin. Police secured the home while a search warrant was obtained, according to police logs.
Tyler G. Lyttle, 23, of 140 Russell Road, was arrested a few hours later at Baystate Noble Hospital on charges of felony breaking and entering daytime, larceny from building and defacement/vandalizing property. Lyttle was held without right to bail on a previous similar offense when arraigned in Westfield District Court Friday morning.
Lyttle had been released on his personal recognizance on March 16 after being arraigned on charges of felony breaking and entering vehicle/boat nighttime and larceny over $250 in Westfield.
Assistant District Attorney Magali Montes requested $2,500 cash on the new charges and for bail to be revoked for the breaking and entering charge from March.
Lyttle’s attorney, William Lyons, said his client would like to receive treatment for his heroin addiction and requested that Westfield District Judge Philip Contant not revoke Lyttle’s bail, but if he did to set bail at $100 cash for the new charges.
Contant said that pretrial detention was necessary until the previous case is heard on May 11. For the new charges, Contant set bail at $500 cash surety.
Lyttle allegedly used a bat to both break into the residence and to destroy property with “every room, including the basement, having items broken,” Montes said during Lyttle’s arraignment. “A glass cabinet had all the glass broken out, a potted plant was smashed” along with a lot of other damage, Montes reported.
“Multiple parts and pieces of jewelry were found in the area of Russell Road” after Lyttle had dropped items and vehicles had run over them.
Fingerprints taken from the victim’s home led police to the defendant, according to Montes. She explained how egregious the crime was “to not only steal but to destroy the property of a complete stranger.”
Montes said that Lyttle has a long list of other previous charges and convictions including for larceny over $250 and possession of Class B drug for which he spent time in the House of Correction.
On March 30, 2015, Lyttle pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a Class B drug brought by Westfield police and was sentenced to a 127 day term in the house of correction, according to The Westfield News archives.
In a second case brought by Southwick police, Lyttle pleaded guilty to a charge of larceny of property valued more than $250 and was sentenced to a concurrent 127-day term. “He steals to support his drug habit,” Montes said Friday.
Staff Writer Christine Charnosky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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