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Police Investigating Attempted Abduction From Berkshire Mall

Staff Reports
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
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.
     

North Adams Woman Injured in Collision With Box Truck

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

The RAV 4 was peeled open to extricate the driver. Photos provided by a reader.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A 19-year-old North Adams woman is expected to be taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield after her vehicle collided with a box truck Tuesday morning.
 
Police say Samantha Scutt, 19, of North Adams was southbound on Route 8 when she veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a 2010 Chevrolet box truck driven by Carl Gasco, 50, of Millbury. The crash occurred at about 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Route 8 and Old State Road. The box truck, owned by Linders Inc. of Worcester, also hit a utility pole and electrical wires were hanging "dangerously close" to the scene.
 
Scutt was trapped inside of her 2002 Toyota RAV 4 for an hour and a half before she could be extricated using the Jaws of Life and taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. A state trooper got into her vehicle to stay with her through the ordeal.
 
Police say she has serious injuries and is expected to be transferred to Baystate. Gasco was also taken to Berkshire Medical Center with broken legs and possible internal bleeding. 
 
Responders from Lanesborough, Pittsfield, Cheshire and Dalton fire department, and County Ambulance worked to extricate the two operators.
 
The crash led Route 8 to be closed for nearly six hours. Scutt will be cited for a marked lanes violation.
     

Lanesborough Man Facing Charges After Crashing Car

Staff Reports

NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — A Lanesborough man is facing charges for operating under the influence after his car crashed into a utility pole early Saturday morning.

Daniel Scorpa, 23, lost control of his 2015 Volkswagen Jetta on Route 7 at Ingraham Road at about 2:35 a.m., according to preliminary investigation by Trooper Christopher LaPointe.

Scorpa struck the utility pole, shearing the pole at the bottom.

He was placed under arrest for operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and failing to stay within marked lanes. He was booked at the state police barracks in Cheshire, where he was held pending bail and his arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court on Tuesday.

     

State Fire Marshal Seeking Info On Lanesborough Garage Fire

Staff Reports
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The state fire marshal is looking for the public's help in determining how a garage fire was started on North Main Street just after midnight Thursday.

Lanesborough Fire Chief Charles Durfee said firefighters responded at 12:16 a.m. to the structure fire at 558 North Main St. The fire was fully involved when they arrived and the chief called for tankers from Hancock, Cheshire and New Ashford fire departments.

It took nearly four hours to extinguish the blaze in the secluded area.

The fire marshal's office, under State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, is investigating the cause of the blaze and is asking for anyone who heard or saw people or vehicles in the area to call Lanesborough Police at 413-443-4107.

"There was a fire last night in a garage in a remote location off of North Main Street. The building was fully engulfed by the time the fire was noticed shortly after midnight and the Lanesborough Fire Department called. The investigative team is looking for the public's help in determining the cause of the fire. If anyone saw or heard people or vehicles in the  area, or saw the fire in its earliest stages, they are asked to contact the Lanesborough Police," reads a statement from the fire marshal's office.

Any information can help determine exactly where, when, and how the fire started and all calls are confidential. The fire is being investigated by Lanesborough Fire and Police, and state fire police assigned to the office of the state fire marshal.
     
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