Accused Serial Burglar Arrested After Targeting Charles Street Businesses

A suspect arrested in connection with three break-ins to Charles Street businesses last Wednesday, Feb. 21, is no stranger to Boston Police or the neighborhood, since just six months prior, he was also charged with a pair of earlier break-ins targeting Charles Street businesses.

James Schaff, age 57, was arraigned on Thursday, Feb. 22, in Boston Municipal Court on charges related to three break-ins last week. His bail was set at $15,000 after a not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

According to Boston Police, officers responded to a radio call at about 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 for a breaking and entering in progress after a man wearing a dark-colored jacket attempted to “kick in the door” at Tibet Emporium at 103 Charles St. before running off.

A pane of glass in the still-locked front door was broken while police observed a brick inside the store, which was apparently used to break the window.

As police searched the area for the suspect, another alarm was sounded at Thieves Next Door at 53 Charles St., where, according to Boston Police, the suspect was caught on the security camera at the cash register as he broke a glass display case and removed items from inside.

Two officers searching for the suspect the noticed that the front door at Uwila Warrior at 15 Charles St. was slightly ajar and heard a “thump” emanating from inside the store. Inside, the officers observed the suspect, later identified as Schaff, holding a brick, which he dropped before being handcuffed by police.

Inside the pocket of a black jacket Schaff was wearing police found “various pieces of jewelry.” He was subsequently transported to District A-1 headquarters, where he was charged with Breaking and Entering Nighttime, Malicious Destruction of Property, and [being a ] Common and Notorious Thief.

Boston Police noted that one night prior (Feb. 20), a business at 40 Charles St. was also targeted in a break-in, while on Feb. 20, a residential break was reported on Pinckney Street. (Schaff wasn’t believed to be connected to the residential break, however, according to Boston Police.)

In January, Schaff pleaded guilty in Boston Municipal Court on charges of breaking into both December Thieves at 51 Charles St. and Flat the Hill  at 60 Charles St. on Aug. 24 of last year. He received a suspended sentence and was ordered to continue participating in an addiction treatment program, as well as to stay away from Charles Street.

Schaff is due back in court on March 14.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.