STAMFORD, Vt. — There is a meeting at the Stamford School at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, to start organizing our Neighborhood Watch Group.
Ken Sullivan-Bol will be handing out information and talking about his experience in Washington, D.C., at the National Neighborhood Watch certification class. Join us to discuss what we can do to make Stamford a better and safer community for all.
The community is encouraging anyone with a tip or a lead to speak up and contact the proper authorities. If you see anyting suspicious you must call law enforcement immediately. Call Vermont State Police at 802-442-5421 or Clarksburg Police at 413-663-7795. In an emergency, always call 911.
The page was created by Jennifer Breen Kirsch, a local attorney who's become active in crime prevention after her parents' home was broken into days after Christmas. Kirsch, working with the city and local organizations, has spearheaded the community watch group.
The community effort has been prompted by a wave of break-ins that came to public attention last fall after a number of break-ins in Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt. A suspect believed to be the culprit in the majority of them — and dozens of others through Berkshire and Bennington (Vt.) County — was arrested and charged. However, several of those burglaries have not be resolved and numerous others have occurred in Williamstown, North Adams, Adams and Cheshire over recent months.
North Adams held a community meeting on Thursday night at City Hall to discuss crime and neighborhood action to prevent it.
The new Facebook page states:
Please join the new Neighborhood Crime Watch Group sponsored by Mayor Dick Alcombright, the NAPD through Officer Mark Bailey and Commissioner E. John Morocco, community representative Jenn Kirsch, and the NBCC, through Ashley Benson and Al Bashevkin. To find out more, please post questions and we will quickly reply. Our goal is to reduce the crime rate, as a community, in conjunction with City Hall and the NAPD. We need volunteers and neighborhood captains to run meetings. If you are interested, Officer Bailey, along with members of the team, will conduct a meeting for you and your neighbors, at your home. Let's unite under this common goal to reduce crime in our city!
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Here's a name familiar to many in Clarksburg and Stamford — Stefan Veremko.
Veremko was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday afternoon multiple charges related to numerous burglaries across the county between last June 1 and Nov. 19, 2009. The Pittsfield man is suspected in some of the break-ins and attempted break-ins in both Clarksburg and Stamford this past fall. He's also facing charges in the Bennington, Vt., area.
The 28-year-old had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf for 15 counts of breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony; 14 counts of larceny in building; 11 counts of malicious destruction of property worth more than $250; 15 counts of receiving stolen property worth more than $250 and single counts each of possesion of ammunition without a firearms identification card, cruelty to animals and being a common and notorious thief (we'll have to look that one up).
Judge John A. Agostini ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 cash or $250,000 surety bail. He also was ordered to stay away from the many victims, as well as to have no contact with them if he posts bail.
As most will remember, Veremko was arrested after an off-duty probation officer said he saw him fleeing a building in Lenox with a full pillow case. Veremko allegedly stopped and switched license plates but the officer noted the number and he was arrested at his Dartmouth Street residence.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Lenox, Pittsfield, Dalton, Lanesborough, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Williamstown and Clarksburg police departments and state troopers assigned to the Lee barracks.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The temporary committee of the Stamford/Clarksburg Community Watch has decided to postpone the next meeting to Feb. 20, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. This will allow our team to go over the information that is brought back from the Crime Watch Meeting in Washington, D.C., at the end of this month. We are postponing this meeting so that the next big meeting can be full of informative handouts that will help make this Crime Watch group a success.
STAMFORD, Vt. — A Connecticut couple are accusing a Bennington man of stealing $40,000 worth of lumber from their wooded property - four years after the alleged crime was committed.
Robert Kobelia, 57, has been cited to appear in Vermont District Court in Bennington on Jan. 26 on a charge of grand larceny.
Lynn and Walter Nightingale of Bolton, Conn., filed a complaint with state police late last year, saying they'd discovered in 2008 that the property had been logged four years before, sometime during January or February 2004, without their consent.
They had reportedly contacted the Kobelia, owner of Northeast Wood Products, who told them that he oversaw the operation, but thought they had a verbal agreement. The Nightingales' told state police they did discuss the possibility of having their land logged, but out of all the bids given to them, Kobelia's was the lowest, and they decided not to have their land logged.
They hired a forestry consultant, who estimated the value of the standing lumber, as well as a private attorney. State police received a report from the consultant as well as e-mail and faxed correspondence from Kobelia to the victim's attorney, which was used to establish probable cause that a crime had been committed.
Kobelia, 57, was interviewed Dec. 31 at the Shaftsbury barracks. According to police, Kobelia said he felt as though there was a verbal agreement between he and the victim. He acknowledged that he never paid the victims for the logs removed, and stated that was it was because of a billing error after a computer crash. He told troopers that he is currently unable to pay Nightingales.
The forestry consultant placed the value of the logs taken from the victim's property at $40,601.07. During the interview, Kobelia maintained that he knows he has to pay the victims for what was taken, but disputed the amount quoted, and told state police that all of his assets are now in foreclosure.