POWNAL, Vt. — The rash of car break-ins that hit Williamstown, Mass. earlier this month has crossed the border.
Vermont State Police reported Monday 21 reports of unlocked cars being broken into during the weekend. Sergeant Brian Turner said the Vermont Fusion Center, a collaboration of law enforcement agencies, advised police that the two sprees could be linked because of the similarities.
"It could be up to 30 or 40 cars that were broken into," Turner said Monday. "They were all unlocked."
Similar to the Williamstown, Mass. break-ins, locked cars were not touched, items are being found on the side of the road near the incident and the stolen items range from money to electronics to personal items.
The thefts occurred between midnight and 6 a.m. Sunday on Barber Pond, Puddingstone, Middle Pownal, and Maple Grove roads.
"We're getting some tips in that we have to follow up on and we do have suspects," Turner said. "It's kind of like they are walking and just taking what they want." Earlier this month,
Williamstown, Mass. Police Chief Kyle Johnson said 22 unlocked vehicles were broken into and money, electronics – like GPS systems and digital cameras – and personal items were stolen. In some cases, personal effects were found on the roadside a short distance away.
According to Johnson, the vehicles were entered overnight in 16 locations including Main Street, North Street, Lindley Terrace, Buckley Street, Jamieson Heights, Porter Street, Belden Street, Henderson Road, North Hoosac Road, Sand Springs Road, Summer Street and Walnut Street.
Williamstown Experiences Slew of Vehicle Break-ins
Original Post: By: Staff Reports On: 11:26AM / Monday April 04, 2011
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police continue to field reports of stolen items from unlocked cars during the weekend.
Police Chief Kyle Johnson said as of Monday 22 unlocked vehicles were broken into over the weekend and reports keep coming. Money, electronics - like GPS systems and digital cameras - and personal items were stolen. In some cases, personal effects were found on the roadside a short distance away.
Johnson said police currently do not have any leads in finding the culprit and asks that suspicious activity is reported immediately.
According to Johnson, the vehicles were entered overnight in 16 locations around town, including Main Street, North Street, Lindley Terrace, Buckley Street, Jamieson Heights, Porter Street, Belden Street, Henderson Road, North Hoosac Road, Sand Springs Road, Summer Street and Walnut Street.
Police are urging residents to remove all valuables and secure their vehicles.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams man was arrested Monday night after allegedly trying to pass counterfeit money at local businesses throughout the day.
Anthony Mejias, 29, of Hall Street, was arraigned on three counts of uttering counterfeit notes and one count of possession of more than 10 counterfeit notes Tuesday morning at Northern Berkshire District Court. He was also arraigned on four separate charges related to a break-in on Eagle Street that occurred on Sunday.
The additional charges include larceny under the amount of $250, destruction of property over $250, breaking and entering for misdemeanor and attempting to commit a crime (breaking and entering).
On Monday, Mejias was apprehended by police at approximately 9 p.m. on Walnut Street after reports that he tried to use a fake $10 bill at Dairy Queen, located at 465 Curran Memorial Highway. Earlier in the day, at approximately 2:25 p.m., police were alerted that a man tried to pass fake $10 bills at Lopardo's Package Store, located at 8 River St.
According to police reports, Mejias was seen entering Domino's Pizza, at 1 River St., and the Shell gas station, at 458 Curran Memorial Highway, during the day. There has been no confirmation that he tried to use fake money at those locations.
Mejias was held on $5,000 bail Monday night.
Sgt. James Foley said the notes resembled a legitimate $10 bill at first glance, but a closer look revealed they were obviously counterfeit.
"You could tell they were fake by the feel of them and by the look of them," Foley said.
It's unknown how Mejias created the counterfeit currency, according to Foley. The sergeant said there is "no indication" that Mejias successfully used any of his fake bills to complete a local business transaction.
"We get [these reports] every once and a while," Foley said. "They usually make them on a copy machine, and they usually get caught."
State and local police monitor the east end of the Blackinton Mill on Thursday afternoon in search of suspects who had broken into the mill. Two suspects were arrested Thursday night in connection with the break-ins and robberies.
Updated on May 14 at 3:17 p.m.:
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two local men were arrested Thursday night and are facing felony charges in connection to recent break-ins and copper theft at the Blackinton Mill.
Sam Malinowski, 22, of North Adams, and Dylan Forde, 24, of the town of Florida, were arraigned Friday morning at Northern Berkshire District Court and both were charged with counts of breaking and entering, destruction of property (of a value over $250) and malicious larceny (of a value over $250). According to Commissioner of Public Safety E. John Morocco, "quite a large amount of copper" was stolen from the mill over the last several days.
"It looked like they maybe had been taking pieces out for some time," Morocco said.
David Moresi, building manager of the Blackinton Mill, said the stolen goods included copper plumbing, electrical wire pipes and feeder cables. He estimated the scrap value taken was in the vicinity of $3,000, while the cost of damages is "anywhere between $65,000 to $80,000."
"We'll be looking to get full prosecution to the fullest extent of the law," Moresi said. "This band of thieves had been hitting [the mill] since last weekend, and they just kept going back. They set up shop like it was their job."
According to police reports, North Adams police stopped the suspects, who were passengers in a 2001 Chevy Cavalier, on Thursday night at approximately 8 p.m. in the Big Y parking lot.
"The North Adams Police was phenomenal on this," Moresi said. "You don't often catch copper thieves."
On Friday afternoon, Sgt. James Burdick said the break-ins were "still under investigation."
May 13: NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — State police and several K-9 units responded to "suspicious activity" late Thursday afternoon at the Blackinton Mill, located on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Ashton Avenue.
"[Police] thought somebody was inside, that someone had broken in," North Adams Police Sgt. James Foley said Thursday night. "They ended up searching the building and didn't end up locating anybody."
According to police reports, North Adams police first arrived at the scene at 2 p.m., and was soon followed by three more units.
By 3:30 p.m., two North Adams cruisers, Pittsfield K-9 and state police K-9 vehicles were parked on the east entrance of the mill, according to eye-witness accounts. A Williamstown K-9 unit was located on the west end, while two more North Adams cruisers were outside the north perimeter on Massachusetts Avenue.
Foley confirmed that "infrared heat sensors" were used in an attempt to find the alleged suspect. He said there are "several people of interest" who police suspect broke into the mill, but he couldn't reveal their identities.
According to the police report, the scene was cleared at 4:52 p.m.