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Police say they solved 2 crimes by tracking footprints

The snowstorm that swept into Massachusetts Tuesday night may have been a hindrance to many, but to Boston police, it was a big help, allowing them to track the footprints of alleged criminals in two cases and to make three arrests.

In the first case, Erika M. Pizzi, 23, of Cambridge, was arrested after she allegedly broke into a Roxbury apartment and stole a laptop computer, police said. Pizzi was arraigned in West Roxbury District Court on charges of buying, receiving, or concealing stolen goods, Boston police said. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.

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The incident began when police were called at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday by a man who said his apartment on Tremont Street had been broken into. He said that his laptop and gym bag, along with some personal papers, were missing, police said.

Officers noticed fresh footprints in the snow in the backyard leading around the apartment’s fence and up a driveway on Torpie Street.

Police followed the footprints and found Pizzi standing on the back porch of a home with a gym bag around her shoulders. She told police she was waiting for a friend.

She was arrested after she allegedly told police she had a computer in her bag, but was unable to identify what kind of computer it was.

Pizzi was held on $500 cash bail, according to the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

In the second case, police received a call that a car was being broken into by two men on Fawndale Road in Roslindale at 2:55 a.m. Wednesday. After seeing the officers approaching, the two suspects fled on foot through several backyards, police said.

Officers tracked the footprints of one of the suspects — Steven Fequiere, 28, of Hyde Park — through the snow. He was arrested and charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

The second suspect was caught after officers received a call that a house on Washington Street in Roslindale had been broken into. Police found the second suspect — Jeffrey Salvant, 27, of Roslindale — hiding in the victim’s bathroom with a knife, police said.

He was charged with armed breaking and entering into a home and breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

Globe correspondent Derek J. Anderson contributed to this report. Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@
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