Police allege phony burglary

WALPOLE - A supposed victim of a home invasion was himself arrested on burglary charges after police say he called in a phony report to try to trick them.
Police believe the man has been stealing from his neighbors for at least the past two months.
Michael Higgins, 19, of 4 Eleanor Road, is being charged with two counts of burglary and one count of larceny, police said.
Police say Higgins called 911 about 3:30 Tuesday morning claiming he had just fought off an intruder.
Deputy Chief Scott Bushway said Higgins told police an unknown man in a ski mask and gloves tried to enter his home but ran off when Higgins punched him in the face.
Officers and detectives who went to the Eleanor Road home, where Higgins lives with his parents, could not find any evidence to support Higgins' claims, Bushway said.
A State Police tracking dog was called in, according to police, but the dog could not pick up a scent.
Bushway also noted detectives couldn't find any footprints in the wet grass surrounding the home.
"It became apparent to the officers there that the story reported was suspect," Bushway said.
The next day, the owner of a Darwin Lane home, which is next to the Eleanor Road home, reported a burglary, according to police. The same home, Bushway said, was robbed in mid-April.
The deputy chief said it became apparent to police that Higgins made his report as a "diversionary tactic."
"He wanted us to believe his house was also broken into" to establish himself as a victim, not a suspect, said Bushway. "Which had the opposite effect."
"The story lacked credibility from the beginning," he said.
After obtaining a warrant and searching Higgins' home, police recovered several "unique wine bottles" that were reported stolen from the Darwin Lane home on Tuesday and in April, said Bushway.
Police also charged Higgins with stealing a cooler from the back porch of a neighboring Queens Court home.
Bushway said Higgins is also a suspect in a few other burglaries around the same Common Street neighborhood.

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