Groveland Police Charge West Newbury Man with Burglaries

Police photograph of John T. Balkus, 40, 0f West Newbury.

Groveland Police have charged a West Newbury man in connection with at least two recent house burglaries in that town.

John T. Balkus, 40, 0f West Newbury, was charged with larceny over $250, breaking and entering during the day with intent to commit a felony, breaking and entering during the daytime, two counts of trespassing and Illegal Possession of a class E Substance. He is being held on $5,000 cash bail in the Middleton House of Correction pending arraignment in Haverhill District Court, according to Groveland Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Gillen said police found Balkus hiding in the basement of a vacant home on Holly Lane, Groveland, Oct. 21. He was arrested at the scene with several items in his possession and in a backpack, including silver housewares and jewelry that he claimed he found in the trash and along the road.

“An investigation by Groveland Police soon connected him to another burglary at a home JB Little Road that occurred two days earlier, in which the homeowner reported several items stolen, including several guitars,” Gillen said. “Police were able to determine that Balkus allegedly pawned the stolen guitars at a store in Danvers, and that he pawned several other items related to the JB Little Road burglary, and other items whose rightful owners have yet to be found.” Items include jewelry, silver housewares, utensils and decor.

Groveland Police ask those who may have had similar items stolen from them to contact the department at (978) 521-1212.

“We want to get the word out to police and residents in our communities, because we suspect that this individual may have burglarized other homes in the area, and we hope that potential victims will come forward,” Gillen said.