Patrick McDonald

LACONIA — Police have arrested a man suspected in dozens of break-ins into motor vehicles at two local auto dealerships.

The break-ins occurred over the past two months into vehicles which had left for service at Irwin Motors and Cantin Chevrolet.

Patrick J. McDonald, 28, no fixed address, was arrested last Wednesday on nine counts of credit card fraud, as well as charges of possession of a controlled drug (subsequent offense), and theft by unauthorized taking (subsequent offense).

Police Chief Matt Canfield said Tuesday that the credit cards McDonald had in his possession at the time of his arrest are believed to have been stolen from vehicles which had been dropped off at the two dealerships.

McDonald was charged with using the credit cards to purchase items, mostly from local convenience stores, the chief said.

Laconia detectives arrested McDonald at the Cumberland Farms store on Court Street after they obtained surveillance video and other information that linked McDonald to a vehicle break-in at Irwin’s location on Bisson Avenue, Canfield explained.

The chief said access to some vehicles was gained by smashing windows, but there were several other vehicles which had been left unlocked. In one case access to a convertible was gained by slashing the top, the chief said.

Canfield identified McDonald as a suspect in the break-ins, and said other charges would be forthcoming.

McDonald is presently free on bail, the chief said.

Canfield asked that anyone who might have any information related to McDonald or the break-ins to call the Laconia Police Department headquarters, the Laconia Crimeline at 527-1717, or send an anonymous tip to Tip 411. He described McDonald as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

The theft charge filed against McDonald at the time of his arrest is related to an earlier incident at Walmart, Canfield said. The drug charge was filed because police found McDonald had fentanyl in his possession at the time of his arrest.

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