BOSTON (WHDH) - A 55-year-old Boston man appeared in court Thursday after his arrest in connection with a break-in at a gift shop on Beacon Hill that was caught on camera overnight.
Boston police said officers first responded to the area of 60 Charles Street for a report of a breaking and entering incident in progress. On scene, police said, officers found a man matching a description of a suspect in the break-in and arrested him. The man was later identified as James Schaff and charged with breaking and entering a building at nighttime, according to police.
Video shared with 7NEWS showed the man identified by police as Schaff first smashing through a door’s window at the Flat of the Hill gift shop and reaching his hand inside trying to open the door’s lock. The man is then seen kicking in the broken window before removing the shattered glass and shimmying his body into the shop.
Hours after his arrest, Schaff sported a white Tyvek jail jumpsuit in Boston Municipal Court where he pleaded not guilty.
Speaking in court, prosecutors said a witness watched Schaff break into Flat of the Hill.
“After hearing a loud crashing noise and seeing an individual enter a store at 60 Charles Street through a window, he then saw that same individual throw a backpack out of that store as well as exit through that window,” said prosecutor Sam Jones.
In addition to the break-in at Flat of the Hill, Schaff is also charged in connection with a break-in at the Charles Street Boutique across the street in May. Now, police have said detectives are looking to see whether Schaff was involved with other recent unsolved break-ins on Beacon Hill, with several reported in recent days.
Schaff’s attorney has said police have the wrong man.
“He adamantly denies these allegations,” Schaff’s attorney said.
The broken window at Flat of the Hill was boarded up as of Thursday afternoon.
Schaff was being held on $20,000 cash bail with an order to stay away from Charles Street and Beacon Hill if he posts bail.
Schaff is due back in court next month.
(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)