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Burlington Police Department

Michael R. Kent, Chief of Police

45 Center St.
Burlington, MA 01803



Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 781-791-7627

Nine Arrested in Burlington Police Department Prostitution Sweep

Operation Nets Human Trafficking Suspect and Eight Would-be "Johns"

BURLINGTON — Police Chief Michael R. Kent reports that the Burlington Police Department on Friday arrested nine men during one of the prostitution sweeps announced last month by the department. In the process of conducting the operation, the undercover officer was approached by an alleged human trafficker, who attempted to "recruit" the undercover officer to work for him. 

Similar to operations conducted in years past, the Burlington Police Department Detective Unit conducted a reverse sting to target potential customers for prostitutes and human traffickers. This is done in an effort to drive these kinds of crimes away from Burlington, a hub of commerce and hotels and a crossroads of several major highways.

For the operation, a female police officer posted ads on a website that is well-known for being a haven for classified ads offering sex for a fee.

Arrested were:

• Emad Aljahdii (age 34, of Burlington)        

• Aaron Bath (age 43, of Billerica)

• Richard Homsi (age 50, of Waltham)                          

• Auric Mak (age 35, of Lowell)

• Grishkumar Patel (age 53, of Woburn)

• Anthony Petruno (age 29, of Acton)

• Lawrence Rounds (age 49, of Reading)                     

• Mauro Santiago (age 36, of Dracut)

• Shakwaan Simpkins (age 24, of Brockton)

All of the suspects except SIMPKINS were charged with Engaging in Sexual Conduct for a fee. SIMPKINS was charged with Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude after he responded to the sting operation advertisement and called the undercover officer, arranging to meet and attempting to "recruit" her to work as a prostitute for him.

HOMSI was also charged with Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Over Age 14 after he allegedly groped the undercover officer. He was arrested without incident, and the officer was not injured.

"The arrest of Mr. Simpkins puts an exclamation mark on this operation, and it shows exactly why we get out there regularly in an attempt to interdict sex crimes in our community," Chief Kent said. "Prostitution is not a victimless crime, and we can only wonder how many other people like Simpkins are out there, luring, trapping, and victimizing women who do not happen to be an undercover police officer."

This most recent sting operation was broadly advertised with a media campaign by the Burlington Police Department in an attempt to scare off people from coming to Burlington for prostitution.

"We will do these operations until nobody shows up to be arrested," said Detective James Tigges, who helped execute the sting.

The nine individuals arrested will be arraigned Tuesday in Woburn District Court.



Burlington Police Department

Michael R. Kent, Chief of Police

45 Center St.
Burlington, MA 01803



Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 781-791-7627

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 978-769-5193

Burlington Police Department to Increase Patrols at Shopping Areas During Holiday Season

BURLINGTON -- Chief Michael Kent and the Burlington Police Department announce that they will be increasing police patrols at popular shopping areas during the holiday season in an effort to target and reduce incidents of retail theft and property crime at the Burlington Mall and areas surrounding the Mall, including the new Third Avenue shopping area. 

"The goal of increasing our visible presence is to deter criminal activity but also to give shoppers coming to Burlington comfort that this stepped up enforcement will make their visit more enjoyable," Chief Kent said. "Those who chose to commit these crimes should know that arrests will be the preferred response by officers."

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 28, Burlington Police will be adding at least three additional patrol officers to these areas during the holiday shopping season.

Through crime analysis, Burlington Police found that the highest percentage of retail theft during the holiday season occurred on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. Prior to increased patrol in 2011, Burlington received 41 calls for retail theft during these hours. 

Since starting these directed patrols in the retail business district in 2012, Burlington has seen a significant drop in calls of this nature:

• 2012, 29 retail theft calls

• 2013, 13 retail theft calls

• 2014, 8 retail theft calls


For Immediate Release

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003

Video: Burlington Police Searching for Suspects Involved In Robbery, Assault

videos are available for view and download at the JGPR Vimeo page.

BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent reports that Burlington Police Department is searching for suspects who robbed a local business this week, assaulting an employee in the process. Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying men seen in the store’s surveillance video.

On Nov. 2, at approximately 3 p.m., police responded to a report of a robbery in progress at Eye Care Optics, 101 Middlesex Turnpike.

Employees and witnesses reported that two black males entered the store and stole several pairs of designer eyeglass frames. When workers confronted the suspects as they were exiting, one of the suspects assaulted a female employee, who later sought medical attention at a nearby hospital for her injuries.

The men then got into an occupied vehicle in the parking lot, described as a dark gray/green sedan or small SUV, before fleeing onto Meadow Road.

Police are currently reviewing surveillance video from the business, which shows the men concealing numerous pairs of eyeglass frames.

“The incident remains under investigation and it is believed that these suspects have committed similar thefts in surrounding communities,” Chief Kent said. “We ask that the public take a moment to review the surveillance video and contact Burlington Police if they recognize the suspects or vehicle involved in this crime.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Burlington Police Department at 781-272-1212.

For PD Version: Click Here


Monday, Nov. 2, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 781-791-7627

Cameron Cappella



Burlington Police Arrest Two In Connection With Vandalism at Islamic Center

BURLINGTON -- Chief Michael Kent reports that the Burlington Police Department arrested two men today who allegedly vandalized the Islamic Center of Burlington yesterday.


• Malicious Destruction of Property Over $250

• Tagging Property

Burlington Police tracked down the suspects late this morning following several leads from the community last night.

"We were able to quickly close this shameful case involving a hate crime in our community," Chief Kent said. "This behavior is not tolerated in town and the suspects will be held responsible for their actions."

On Sunday, Nov. 1, at 1:45 a.m., police were called to the mosque and religious community center on Lexington St. by a member, who reported seeing graffiti and other damage.

Investigators noted the letters "U.S.A." written multiple times, with red spray paint, outside the building, as well as the remains of several smashed eggs, which were apparently thrown at the building.

The suspects allegedly drove up to the building and were in the area for at least 20 minutes before driving away.

CAPPELLA and DEMONE were held at the Burlington Police Department today pending their arraignment at Woburn District Court.

For a PDF version: Click HereClick Here


Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 978-769-5193

Burlington Police Deploy New Mobile Command Vehicle
Left to Right Chief Mike Kent, Communication Director for The Cummings Foundation Joyce Vyriotes, & Vice President of Cummings Properties Greg Ahearn.

BURLINGTON -- Chief Michael Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police Department's new Mobile Command Vehicle is now available and ready to be deployed in the community.

In 2014, the Burlington Police Department received $100,000 in funding through the Cummings Foundation's $100K for 100 Grant Program to acquire and equip a Mobile Command Vehicle.

"We are extremely grateful to the Cummings Foundation for selecting the Burlington Police Department as one of the recipients of this award," Chief Kent said. "This invaluable project will exponentially improve services for our residents."

The vehicle will not only be deployed in Burlington, but will be available to neighboring communities when needed.

It will be used to supplement the department's Incident Command System -- which manages critical public safety situations -- to improve effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

During these incidents, the Mobile Command Vehicle retains all the strengths of the traditional command post, while providing unique advantages that are particular to mobile command, including:

• Mobility for rapid deployment, seamless command post transition and rapid command post relocation to the closest safe location in relation to the incident scene.

• The ability to improve communications and coordination between agencies through radio technology that allows agencies to speak with each other over their own frequencies.

• The capacity to advance the investigative operations through on scene technology by using the vehicle's operations to attain, analyze and rapidly disseminate information to police personnel. 

"Our new Mobile Command Vehicle is going to allow the department to expand and improve services while on patrol, at a crime scene or during an investigation," Captain Gregory Skehan said. "Not only that, but we will be able to provide assistance to our counterparts during critical incidents."

In 2014, the same year the Burlington Police Department received its grant, the Cummings Foundation provided 38 grants in Middlesex County, 25 in Essex County and 37 in Suffolk County. The Woburn and Wilmington police departments were also awarded $100,000 each for various endeavors.

“The $100K for 100 program is geared toward supporting communities where the Cummings organization operates. We really want to give back and support those areas,“ said Joyce Vyriotes, Communications Director at Cummings Foundation. “We’re big fans of Burlington and of course we’re so appreciative of the Burlington Police Department and all they do to keep the community safe.”

About the Cummings Foundation

The Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of 

Winchester, Mass. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it recently joined Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation as one of the three largest foundations in New England. The foundation is currently accepting Letters of Inquiry for the $100K for 100 program's 2016 grant cycle. Visit for more information.

For a PDF Version: Click here

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015

Contact: John Guilfoil

Phone: 617-993-0003

Burlington Police to Conduct Prostitution Sting Operation

BURLINGTON -- Chief Michael Kent reports that the Burlington Police Department will conduct a series of prostitution sweeps over the next several months aimed at dissuading sex trafficking and sex crimes, especially those conducted over the Internet using local hotels as meeting locations.

Burlington Police will commence the operation, using several prominent Internet classified sites and other resources to generate leads.

"Our eventual goal behind this operation is to have zero arrests," Chief Kent said. "We are a thriving community with a bustling commercial district and several hotels, and we are aware that this can attract the wrong element sometimes. We want people to know that Burlington is not the place to conduct these kinds of activities."

In December 2014, Burlington Police arrested seven men and one woman during a Friday evening prostitution sweep, after a Burlington Police Officer posted an ad on an online classifieds website offering sex for a fee.

"We conduct these operations for one reason: Prostitution is not a victimless crime," said Burlington Police Detective Sergeant Timothy McDonough, who leads the operations. “In most cases, the real women behind the online ads are victims of human trafficking. We know that people who torment and exploit women and children use online ads to do their business, and we will continue to be aggressive in pushing sex crimes out of our community."

Those arrested during the operation will be arraigned in Woburn District Court, and their names and photos will be distributed to the media.

For PDF Version: Click Here


Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015

Contact: Jessica Sacco Phone: 978-769-5193 Email:

Burlington Police Officers Complete Active Shooter Training

BURLINGTON -- Chief Michael Kent announces that four officers from the Burlington Police Department recently completed an Active Shooter Threat Training Program (ASTTP) .

Sgt. Timothy Kirchner, Officer Matthew Creamer, Officer Ryan Griffin and Officer Christopher DiDonato traveled to Charleston, S.C. for three days of active shooter training and a day of tactical medical training from Sept. 21-24.

The course is offered through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers and is designed to provide officers with the knowledge and skills to successfully and safely handle an active threat incident through hands-on training. 

ASTTP utilizes dynamic, interactive drills and scenario-based training that covers a variety of tactical subject matters, including individual and team movement and operational formation. 

"Given the current state of affairs in our nation, it is imperative that we provide our officers with these vital skills to protect the community and themselves if an active shooter situation were to occur," Chief Kent said

Click here for PDF: Burlington Police Officers Complete Active Shooter Training


The Burlington Police Department would like to warn citizens to be aware of two phone scams that have res

urfaced in the area.  The perpetrators use the internet and social media websites to research for potential targets.

The first is known as the "Grandparent Scam," in which fraudsters are impersonating as a grandchild in distress and begging for cash.  Typically a grandparent receives a phone call or an e-mail from a "grandchild." If it is a phone call, it's usually late at night or early in the morning when most people are not thinking clearly.  Usually the person claims to be in a foreign country and has been arrested, involved in an accident or mugged and needs money as soon as possible.  The caller does not want his parents notified.  Sometimes, instead of the "grandchild" making the phone call, the criminal pretends to be an arresting officer, a lawyer, or a doctor from a hospital.  The anxious grandparent is then instructed to send money via Western Union or Money Gram.  Once the transfer is made, the grandparent often receives another call requesting more money.  Wiring money is like sending cash.  Once the money is gone, you can't trace it or get it back.  Financial losses in these cases can be substantial and usually cost the victim several thousands of dollars.

If you receive a call where someone is contacting you for money, you could resist the pressure to act quickly and try to contact the grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.  Never write money based on a request over the phone or in an e-mail.

The second is known as the "IRS Scam," in which a person, including recent immigrants, receives a call from a person claiming to be from the IRS.  The caller tells the victim they owe taxes and must paying using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.  The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver's license.  The caller may know the last four digits of the victim's social security number and make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.  Often, a second call is made claiming to be the police, and caller ID again supports their claim.  If the caller claims to be a Burlington Police Officer, ask for their last name and call 781-272-1212 to verify the authenticity of the call. 

The IRS usually contacts people by mail-not by phone-about unpaid taxes and the IRS won't ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.  The agency won't ask for a credit card number over the phone.  If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, hand up and the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.  IRS workers can help you with payment questions.  The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting or any social media.

The Burlington Police recommend that you never give a caller personal information, including your bank account, credit card, social security or driver's license number.  Western Union transfer forms specifically warn senders not to send money for an unconfirmed emergency related to a grandchild or other family member.  Money Gram also has a fraud warning on transfer forms and says it can put holds on transfers that raise red flags.  Additionally, limit your personal information, such as vacation plans, on shared and social media sites.

If you believe you may be a potential victim or have been victimized, call the Burlington Police at 781-272-1212. To report an online crime visit:

PD Version: Phone Scams

Burlington Police Seek Help in Identifying Medallion from 1975 Cold Case:

Burlington Police recently sought assistance from The Poughkeepsie Journal, in Poughkeepsie, NY in order to identify a Medallion found  in 1975 Homicide Case. This case has yet to be solved and are seeking any assistance in identifying the medallion.

medallion picture

If you have any information please contact Lt. Glen Mills via phone: 781-272-1212  address: Burlington Police Department Attn: Lt. Glen Mills 45 Center St. Burlington, MA 01803 or Fax: 781-270-1920.

You can view the article online: The Poughkeepsie Journal

You can view the Press Release: Unsolved 1975 Homicide

In 2014, the Burlington Police Department was awarded a Cummings Foundation “$100K for 100” communities grant to design, build, and deploy a Mobile Command Unit (MCU) to be utilized for large scale preplanned events and during critical public safety incidents that arise in the community. This vehicle (MCU), currently being manufactured, will greatly assist the Burlington Police Department and its partnering agencies in managing such crises and events in which public safety is at issue so that the best possible outcomes may be achieved.