Photo by Carlos Pimental Felix

Police make arrest after New Bedford woman hides in room and texts 911 while house was being robbed

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NEW BEDFORD – New Bedford patrol officers placed three suspects under arrest for a housebreak in the city’s south end yesterday morning.

On Thursday, September 7th, at around 11 AM, south-end patrol officers responded to a break-in-progress at a residence on Brock Ave. A young woman was alone in the house when she observed an unknown male attempting to enter through a first-floor window.

The woman locked herself in a room and immediately placed a call to 911 as she heard the man making his way upstairs. She then heard movement in the rooms next to her. At one point, one of the suspects attempted to turn the doorknob of the room she was hiding in.

Frightened, and doing her best to remain extremely quiet, the woman spoke too softly to be understood over the phone. It was then that Dispatcher Acacia Reyes instructed her to text 911 instead. Through texting, the victim was able to provide pertinent information to our communications center as she heard what sounded to be a suspect leaving by the front door.

Patrol officers then arrived on the scene and conducted a search of the house to ensure it was safe.

At this time, Animal Control Officers Emanuel Maciel and Shelley Avila-Martins were in the area and observed two males, dressed in black clothing, carrying a large duffel bag to an awaiting vehicle. ACO Maciel notified the patrol units of their observations and followed the vehicle as it left the area.

The vehicle was then stopped by officers in the area of the Cove St./Roosevelt St. intersection.

The vehicle was being operated by a female later identified as Ms. ELISA MORALES, 32, of New York City. The two males were identified as Mr. STEVENS DIAZ-RODRIGUEZ, 30, of New York City, and Mr. EDWIN GONZALEZ, of College Point NY.

A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of numerous items that came from the victim’s address as well as several tools that can be used for burglary. All three parties were placed under arrest.

EDWIN GONZALEZ and STEVENS DIAZ-RODRIGUEZ were both charged with breaking and entering in the daytime for the purpose of committing a felony while placing a person in fear. ELISA MORALES is charged with being an accessory after the fact, and unlicensed operation of an unregistered motor vehicle.

“This is an excellent example of how people with different roles, on the same team, can come together and do their part to bring suspects into custody. From the dispatcher who had the presence of mind to instruct the victim, to the Animal Control Officers who were in the area and keenly observant, to the police officers who secured the residence and safely took the suspects into custody…everyone played a critical role. A job well done by all.”

-Chief Paul Oliveira

The arresting officer was Ofc. Hector Rivera,

Were you aware that you can contact 911 via text? This is a scenario in which that feature was extremely helpful. If you need help but are in a situation where you want to remain as quiet as possible, simply text 911, and our communications center will receive your message and send assistance.

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