N.C. pair investigated for thefts across US

Police say couple used ruse to enter Braintree house

By Jessica Bartlett
Globe Correspondent / April 9, 2011

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BRAINTREE — What began as a robbery attempt at an elderly Braintree couple’s home now has police looking into the possibility of a cross-country string of thefts by a North Carolina couple.

Police suspect that George DeMetro, 36, of Wilkesboro, N.C., and Dina M. Miller, 42, of Boone, N.C., traveled from Las Vegas to Braintree, manipulating their way into homes to steal from them.

DeMetro and Miller were arrested Thursday afternoon after a 75-year-old Braintree resident called police, saying the couple talked their way into her house, claiming to be checking electrical wires for the state.

Elizabeth Turley said she was speaking to DeMetro at her front door, when Miller approached and distracted her as DeMetro entered the house, located on Burton Road.

Turley’s husband, James, then called from inside the house, saying DeMetro was in their bedroom. DeMetro claimed to be checking the water and ran the faucet in the bathroom.

Soon after that, DeMetro and Miller fled from the house.

Turley phoned police and described a black pickup truck with a red cap on the back. When police located the truck on Granite Street near D’Angelo’s, they found what Braintree Deputy Police Chief Russell Jenkins called a “boatload of property.’’

According to police, the truck contained $60,000 in cash, jewelry, coin and baseball collections, and silverware. Police are trying to locate other victims.

Police also found Miller’s 9- and 10-year-old sons in the back seat. They were turned over to the Department of Children and Families when Miller was taken into custody.

Nothing was stolen from the Braintree home. Pawn shop receipts from in and out of state were found in the vehicle, leading police to believe that the couple had been breaking into homes for a living, Jenkins said.

“If you look at the plethora of evidence, it seems this had been going on for a long time,’’ Jenkins said yesterday at a press conference.

According to Jenkins, thieves often use this ruse to get in victims’ homes while the door is unlocked. It wasn’t clear whether the suspects had targeted this residence because of the homeowners’ ages, Jenkins said, though it isn’t unusual in these kinds of schemes.

The North Carolina couple was held overnight without bail. They were charged with daytime entry by false pretenses and receiving stolen property over $250. At their arraignment at Quincy District Court yesterday morning, DeMetro was held on $60,000 cash bail, and Miller on $10,000.

Jenkins said the children’s grandparents tried to pick up the two boys from DCF; however, they were not released into their custody.

According to Jenkins, the couple may be in the area because DeMetro’s father is seeking treatment for a medical issue.

Miller and DeMetro have previous records, police said.