Two plead guilty to Rowley marijuana shop break-ins

·3 min read

Sep. 23—ROWLEY — Two Lawrence men accused of breaking into a pair of local marijuana shops in February pleaded guilty to multiple charges Thursday in Newburyport District Court and were sentenced to nine months in jail.

Rosnel Polano-Olivio, 24, and Gauris Encarnacion, 23, were among those arrested Feb. 11 after they and four other people used a hammer to break into Fine Fettle and Cape Ann Cannabis, both on Route 1, within minutes of each other starting about 11:35 p.m. on Feb. 10, according to court records.

As part of their plea deals, both men were given credit for time already served, 202 days for Encarnacion and 224 days for Polano-Olivio.

Court records show they were charged with multiple counts of breaking and entering to commit a felony and other offenses, including stealing a car and possessing burglarious tools.

Police say Encarnacion, Polano-Olivio and the four others fled in a white car that may have been stolen after breaking into Fine Fettle and Cape Ann Cannabis and grabbing batteries, cartridges and a cashbox.

The car was spotted hours later in New Hampshire by state police and after crossing the border into Massachusetts on Interstate 495 in Salisbury, local state police began chasing the vehicle. The pursuit ended in Haverhill near River Road when the car lost a tire.

Two of the six people in the car escaped but Encarnacion and three others were caught. The other two men, identified as Jose Tapis-Vasquez, 19, and Polano-Olivio, were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries sustained in the car crash.

Tapis-Vasquez and Olivio were issued summonses due to their injuries. A juvenile also caught at the crash scene will be summonsed to court, according to Rowley Sgt. Charles Hazen's report.

The cases against the remaining suspects remain open.

A Rowley police detective, who watched video footage of the Cape Ann Cannabis break-in, was able to identify Encarnacion and the others in police hands based on the clothing they wore, according to a police report.

Cape Ann Cannabis camera footage shows four men getting out of a white Honda sedan, with one wielding a hammer. After the man holding the hammer smashed a hole in a glass side door, all four entered the business.

"It did appear that they took one item about the size of a laptop," Hazen wrote in his report, adding that they all wore masks and gloves.

After police arrived, they found the store's sales counters and cabinets "open and in disarray." The store's owner said a metal cash drawer was missing as well as batteries, according to Hazen's report.

The same people broke into a Berwick, Maine, retail marijuana business after hitting the two Rowley shops, according to Berwick police.

After a Berwick police officer noticed the front door to Kind Farms Reserve was smashed in and an alarm sounding, he began pursuing the car toward South Berwick.

The chase was picked up by two additional patrol cars from the South Berwick Police Department and continued through nearby Eliot and Kittery, both in Maine.

Kittery police set up stop sticks across Route 236 just in time for the car to run over them, puncturing two tires. But the hatchback continued onto Interstate 95 south into New Hampshire, prompting Maine police to stop their pursuit.

The car was eventually spotted in Haverhill by Massachusetts State Police. The four suspects were found a short time later in woods off the three-lane highway.

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.