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Man Rescued After Getting Stuck in Lanesborough Cave

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Firefighters freed a man stuck upside down in a cave off Silver Street on Saturday night.
 
Fire Chief Charlie Durfee said the local man had slipped on wet rocks at about 9:15 p.m. while checking out a cave behind 96 Silver St. and fell head first into the cave opening. Durfee said the man was attending a birthday party when he and a friend took a walk to look at the caves.
 
He was stuck there for about two hours while the Western Mass Technical Rescue Team worked to free him.
 
"He was probably in the hole for about two hours," Durfee said.
 
More than a dozen local firefighters who serve on the technical rescue team was joined by another dozen from the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department on the call.
 
Durfee said he also received assistance from Dalton Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan and Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski. Durfee added that another one of the partygoers is a paramedic in another town and kept the man calm as they waited for first responders to arrive.
 
"It was tedious getting to where he was," he said. "It was a great team effort."
 
Durfee said freeing the man proved to be tricky because rescuers couldn't simply lift him out. But eventually, using a number of ropes, harnesses, and other tools, the man was freed and taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. He suffered only a laceration on the back of his head.
 
"These guys are highly trained in tactical rescues," Durfee said.
 
There are some 58 caves in Lanesborough and about half of them are located in the Silver Street area. But this the only cave rescue Durfee can remember.
 
"We've never had a cave rescue in the 37 years I've been on the department," he said. 
     

Special Response Team Called To Lanesborough Home

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.

Bailey Road was closed from Route 7 to Noppet Road nearly all day.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Bailey Road was closed for close to eight hours Tuesday after a man barricaded himself inside a home.
 
Police said a Bailey Road resident called at about 11 a.m. to report that another household member was "shooting in the house and out the window." The reporting party then fled to a neighbor's house.
 
Lanesborough Police, state police, and the Berkshire County sheriff's department set up a perimeter around the house and police, with the help of Lanesborough's Highway Department, shut down Bailey Road from Route 7 to Noppet Road. Traffic was diverted throughout the day around Brodie Mountain Road. 
 
The Berkshire County Special Response Team was called and relieved the initial responders. Police then made multiple attempts to reach the individual through crisis negotiators with the Special Response Team and the State Police Crisis Negotiators Unit but were unsuccessful. 
 
For hours, police could be heard through a megaphone calling on a man to exit the home. After nearly six hours without contact with the individual, the Special Response Team entered the residence. 
 
The scene was then turned over to detectives with the state police assigned to the Berkshire County district attorney's office, and the State Police Crime Scene Services Unit.
 
Bailey Road was re-opened to traffic at about 7 p.m. Officers from Lanesborough, Pittsfield, Lee, Lenox, North Adams, Adams, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department assisted on the scene.
     

Dog Takes Bite Out of Lanesborough Thief's Pants

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Good boy.
 
A German shepherd thwarted a would-be robber in the Balance Rock and Potter Mountain Road neighborhood Monday night. Police say there has been somewhat of a rash of attempted break-ins in the neighborhood, with three reported in the last two days. 
 
However, at one home, the cat burglar met his foe — the dog. 
 
Police say the homeowner returned home to find his dog outside and a back door open. Later, he found remnants of what appears to be someone's ripped pants.
 
Despite the doggo scaring the burglar from one home, police say at another the perpetrator was able to steal a number of items — exactly what items isn't being revealed because the case is under investigation. 
 
On Tuesday, police received another report of a homeowner in the same area returning and hearing somebody upstairs. The homeowner didn't find anyone but did find a garage door open.
 
Police are reminding people to lock their windows and doors and if they see something, say something because they'd "rather investigate suspicious activity that turns out to be harmless than to miss an opportunity to potentially catch someone in the act of committing a crime."

     

Police Investigating Attempted Abduction From Berkshire Mall

Staff Reports
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
image description
Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
image description
Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
image description
Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are looking for assistance in identifying a man accused of attempting to abduct a 9-year-old girl at the Berkshire Mall on Sunday night.
 
Police released a composite sketch of the man they are looking to question regarding the incident. Police Chief Tim Sorrell said the 9-year-old girl was in the hallway near the bathrooms around 5 p.m. when the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair and shoulder and pulled her toward the back of the hallway. 
 
But he stopped when another adult came out of the men's room. The girl ran back to the food court, where her grandmother was waiting for her. 
 
There were no cameras in that section of the mall and mall security conducted a search to no avail. Police received descriptions of the individual from the girl and her mother, who had noticed the man in the hallway earlier.
 
Police contacted a composite artist from Woburn to create the image shown. 
 
The man is described as white, standing between 5 feet 7 inches and 6 feet tall. He was wearing a hooded sweat shirt, with the hood down. Police are asking anyone who may have seen the incident, who knows the individual or may have seen the individual at the mall to contact them at 413-443-4107.
     

Lanesborough Police Arrest Vermont Man For String of Car Breaks

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
image description
Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
image description
Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
image description
Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
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Building and electrical inspectors will determine the extent of the damage.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police arrested a Bennington, Vt., man whom they believe is responsible for a number of recent car breaks.
 
On Tuesday, police arrested 29-year-old Nicholas Leonard at the Weathervane Motel on a number of charges related to the string of car break-ins. Leonard is being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,500 bail and will be arraigned on Wednesday. 
 
"A concerned citizen knew we were looking for him and said they saw him at the Weathervane," said Chief Timothy Sorrell.
 
Leonard is being charged by Lanesborough Police on four counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, two counts of larceny under $250, and single counts of uttering, larceny over $250, and forgery. Pittsfield Police and Vermont authorities are also expected to file charges relating to similar incidents in those areas.
 
"Numerous stolen items were found in the room from various break-ins in Pittsfield and Lanesborough," Sorrell said.
 
The chief said Leonard had been suspected in the recent car breaks. Just three days earlier, Lanesborough Police used Facebook to warn citizens to lock their car doors to protect their property.
 
Leonard was apparently seen on video in one of the breaks, according to Sorrell. He also alleged that Leonard had stolen a checkbook, wrote checks for cash, and provided identification when he went to cash them. 
 
Prior to Tuesday's arrest, there were default warrants: one from 2011 in Williamstown for 20 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and one from 2015 in North Adams for failing to provide a DNA sample — Massachusetts requires those convicted of a felony to provide one. 
 
In 2011, Leonard was charged with breaking into vehicles in Bennington and Pownal, Vt., and in Williamstown. He was accused of some 41 car break-ins and stealing more than $10,000 worth of various items.
     
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