Friday March 1, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- A man who has been on the run for more than a month was arrested early Thursday morning.

According to a press release from the Bellows Falls Police Department, Zacariah McAllister, 22, was found hiding in the basement of an apartment building on Front Street.

The search began after police received a complaint about suspicious footprints in the snow leading in and out of several driveways. While tracking the footprints, members of the Bellows Falls Police Department discovered at least one vehicle on Henry Street had been rummaged through.

Police followed the footprints over several streets and through several neighborhoods to discover they ended at a cellar bulkhead on Front Street.

After seeking the help of the residents of the apartment building, McAllister was found in the basement.

McAllister, who had two active arrest warrants issued against him by the state, was taken into custody and then transported to Windham Superior Court Criminal Division.

Bellows Falls Police Chief Ron Lake said it appeared McAllister had been going from car to car looking for things to steal. Lake also said McAllister couldn’t have been on the run for more than a month without help.

"We believe that somebody had been helping him, but the investigation is ongoing," he said.

McAllister’s warrants include offenses for burglary, unlawful mischief, false information to a police officer, petit larceny, sale of hallucinogens, possession of cocaine, contempt of court, domestic assault and violation of conditions of release.

Police have been searching for McAllister since he walked away from a drug treatment program and failed to make a court appearance in late January to answer to a charge of domestic assault.

On Jan. 9, he had pleaded guilty to burglarizing WW Building Supply in Newfane in 2011 and giving false information to police in Brattleboro. He also pleaded guilty to selling hallucinogenic mushrooms and possessing cocaine.

He was facing a maximum prison sentence of 15 years but his sentencing was delayed for six months to allow him to attend the drug treatment program.

McAllister was one of a number of people who were arrested after a multi-state investigation into a burglary ring that had struck businesses and homes in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.