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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."

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Driver Won't Be Charged in Pedestrian Death

Berkshire News Network

Great Barrington Police have decided not to file any charges against a Stockbridge woman who hit and killed a pedestrian crawling across Route 7 last month. 

Police Chief William Walsh told the Berkshire News Network that preliminary results of the autopsy on the victim, 59-year-old Raymond McQuoid of Lee, revealed that the driver, 33-year-old Julia Berkman of Stockbridge, was not at fault when she hit McQuoid. 

Police said they believed McQuoid had been drinking before the incident and was walking northbound in the southbound lane around 9 that night when he decided for some reason to crawl across busy Route 7. The incident occurred about 500 yards north of the WSBS studios near an auto dealership at the base of Monument Mountain. 

McQuoid, a native of Leicester, resided in Stamford, Vt., for several years and served on the Select Board. He had been a truck driver for LB Corp. He left a wife, the former Danna Nichols, her three children and four grandchildren.

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Stamford Crime Watch Sets Meeting

Stamford/Clarksburg Crime Watch

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.

More information can be found at the Stamford/Clarksburg crime watch site www.towncrimewatch.com.

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.
 

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Crime Watch Page Created for North Adams

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There's a new crime watch page on Facebook for city residents.

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!

 

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Veremko Arraigned, Held on $250K

Staff Reports

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.  

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