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    Police nab man trying to escape after alleged burglary at South End address

    A 54-year-old homeless man allegedly broke into a gated area on a South End block early Thursday and was nabbed when he tried to make his escape, police said.

    Officers were called to the area of 48 E. Springfield St. around 12:40 a.m. for a report of a breaking and entering in progress, Boston police said in a statement. When they arrived, they quickly spotted their suspect.

    “Upon arrival, officers observed a white male, later identified as Michael McCole, 54, of Boston, emerge from a gated, fenced in patio area,” the release said. “Officers entered the fenced in area and observed a tan tool container that was ajar and the padlock/bent hasp appeared to have been forced open. Nearby video surveillance captured the suspect entering the rear patio area where he can be seen breaking into the tool storage container. McCole was placed under arrest and was charged with Breaking and Entering, Nighttime.”

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    Four condo units are located at the address where the alleged break-in took place, with assessed values ranging from $469,100 to $898,100, according to city records.

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    McCole was ordered held on $5,000 bail during his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court on Thursday afternoon, and he began to quietly sob after the amount was set. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

    Prosecutors cited his lengthy criminal history, which includes a prior state prison term of three to five years for a 2006 case in Essex County. Details on that case weren’t immediately available.

    Sean Donahue, McCole’s lawyer, said the defendant currently lives at the Pine Street Inn, a Boston homeless shelter, and that he’s battled drug addiction and PTSD following the death of his wife in a car crash.

    “Imposing bail of $1 would be tantamount to holding him without bail,” Donahue said during the hearing. “He has absolutely no financial resources.”

    Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.