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Reward Offered in Pittsfield High Theft

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Police Department is investigating a theft of several thousands of dollars from Pittsfield High School. 

The incident is believed to have occurred during a senior "prank night" during the overnight hours of Wednesday, May 25, and Thursday, May 26. 

Reports say about $9,000 was removed from a teachers' desk. The stolen funds were intended to be used for senior events including the senior banquet, class trip and prom.

There is a reward of $500 for information leading to the identity of the responsible party or parties. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. 

Tags: burglary, high school      

Superior Court Briefs: March 1 - March 3

Andy McKeever

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 1.

Sergio Santiago, 19, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of armed burglary, assault on an occupant, assault with intent to commit rape, armed assault with intent to murder, unarmed burglary, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and intimidation of a witness.

The charges stem from an attack on a 24-year-old woman inside her Taylor Street home in Pittsfield on July 12, 2009.
Santiago also pleaded guilty to single counts of receiving stolen property over $250 and receiving stolen property under $250 in connection to two house break-ins on June 20, 2009 and June 29, 2009.

Santiago was sentenced to serve 18 to 25 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction for armed burglary and assault on an occupant. He was sentenced to serve 18 to 20 years concurrently in state prison for assault with intent to commit rape, armed assault with intent to murder and unarmed burglary.

He was given an additional nine to 10 years in state prison for the assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon charge and correction sentences on the remaining charges.

Joseph Bigelow, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of cocaine distribution, distribution of heroin and drug violation in a school zone.

Bigelow was given a two-year sentence at the house of corrections on the charges from drug sales on April 20, 2009 and June 4, 2009 in Pittsfield.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, March 2.

Arthur Sebastino, 48, of Adams pleaded guilty to three counts of violation of a restraining order.

Sebastino was ordered to serve 83 days in the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incidents occurred in Adams on June 7, 2009 and June 8, 2009.

Frederick McKinley, 25, of New York City pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws stemming from a March 6, 2010 sale in Stockbridge.

A charge of possession of heroin with intent to distribute was dismissed at the request of the state after chemical analysis found the substance was not heroin.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, March 3.

Michael Campbell, 33, of New York City pleaded guilty to one count of possession of oxycontin with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy to violate drugs laws.

Campbell was ordered to serve four to six year sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The charges stem from an execution of a search warrant at the Willows Motel in Williamstown on April 2, 2010.

Jessica Ferris, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Ferris was given six months suspended sentence to the Berkshire County House of Correction. Ferris was placed on one year probation with the condition that she refrain from using drugs and alcohol and undergo counseling and testing.

The charges stem from a search warrant at her home executed on July 5, 2010.

Charles Cable, 31, of North Adams pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon in connection with an assault on December 5, 2009.

Cable was sentenced to the Berkshire County House of Correction for 18 months. Another charge of armed assault with intent to murder was dismissed at the request of the state.

Tags: drugs, cocaine, murder, rape, heroin, assault, burglary      

Stolen Property Being Returned to Owners

Staff Reports

LENOX, Mass. — The items held as evidence in the case against burglary kingpin Stefan Veremko are being released to their owners.

The Lenox Police Department has been holding hundreds of items seized in November 2009 from Veremko's home, vehicle and areas where he had discarded the property. Veremko's monthslong spree across three states ended when an off-duty officer spotted him fleeing a building - with a pillowcase. 

Multiple police agencies were investigating the break-ins, which stretched from Southern Vermont to South County. As a result, Veremko and accomplice Tara Malloy were arrested. The recent conclusion of the case convicting Veremko and giving him five- to seven-year state prison sentence allows police the opportunity to return the seized evidence to the many victims involved with this case, said Chief Stephen E. O'Brien.

Many people came to the Lenox Town Hall on Nov. 19, 2009, to view the vast array of items. Some were able to identify items that indeed belonged to them. While conducting this process, during the exit interview, these victims were asked to provide a phone number at which they could be reached at the conclusion of the case.

Within the next several days, the victims who identified property will be receiving a call from the Lenox Police to arrange for the release of their property. All of the property that was identified will be returned to its rightful owner. For victims from the states of Vermont and New York, their property will be released to the police agency having jurisdiction over the crime. The out-of-state agency will make a determination if that property may be released or if it will remain held pending future criminal action against Veremko and Malloy in their states.

"We are asking for everyone's patience as we attempt to relinquish property in an orderly fashion to be certain that each and every victim recoups their loss," said O'Brien. "We also thank everyone involved for their patience as this case made its way through the criminal court system."

Tags: Veremko, burglary, break-ins      
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