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.
SHELBURNE, Mass. — A Drury High School graduate was killed in a two-vehicl crash on Sunday afternoon on Route 2, just east of the state police barracks in Shelburne.
Sean Williams, 22, of Clarksburg was traveling west in a 2004 Honda Civic when he collided with an eastbound 1997 Dodge pickup driven 52-year-old Stephen Olaskiewicz of Concord, N.H., at about 1:26 p.m.
Williams was seriously injured and pronounced dead at the scene. He graduated from the North Adams high school in 2006 and was in his senior year at Bentley College in Waltham, where he was studying accounting.
Olaskiewicz and his passenger, Carol Olaskiewicz, 51, were taken to Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield for treatment of injuries.
Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction and Crime Scene Services sections and the medical examiner's office. The Shelburne Fire Department and police as well as Buckland Police also assisted at the scene.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Your Stamford/Clarksburg Community Watch Group is looking for volunteers.
We need your help. We can't do this with out you!
Become a volunteer and join the Neighborhood Watch Group official committee. Be part of this volunteer group and help out your community and protect your home and your neighbor's. It is easy and rewarding work that will keep you informed.
To sign-up, send an e-mail to email@example.com with your name, contact number and how you would like to volunteer by Jan. 4, 2010.
We are forming an official volunteer committee. We will meet to construct our basic organization before our next scheduled open Community Watch meeting on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. at Stamford (Vt.) School.
Question: What do I need to do as a Neighborhood Crime Watch volunteer?
Volunteers help set meeting dates/locations and attend community and committee meetings, promote meetings and raise awareness, make and distribute fliers, sign-up for e-mail alerts, organize meetings and set the agenda, contribute ideas for the group's success, type minutes, organize refreshments/food, help design Web site sections and additions, come to meetings early to set up chairs and tables, etc.
Sign-up to do as much or as little as you can. We appreciate any and all residents who are willing to help.
Want to know about the latest break-in/burglary in your town? Come to the meeting. Find us out on Facebook at Stamford Vermont Crime Watch (which includes Clarksburg news).