WESTMINSTER -- Nearly one year ago, Criscenzo Ruggiero pleaded guilty to nine charges in connection with multiple burglaries in Westminster, Rockingham and Saxtons River.
He blamed drug addiction and "the wrong group of friends," and he received a prison sentence that was mostly suspended with probation.
But Ruggiero, 22, might be headed back to prison after Vermont State Police accused him of a new theft: This time, he has been cited for allegedly taking $280 from the glove compartment of a vehicle in Westminster.
"Investigation of the case revealed that Criscenzo Ruggiero was likely the person who took the money," Senior Trooper Kim McLeod wrote. "An interview with Ruggiero confirmed that he in fact took the money from the glove box of (the victim’s) vehicle while visiting with the family sometime before Thanksgiving."
In January, Ruggiero, then 21, appeared in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division to admit his role in what authorities had called a multistate burglary ring.
He pleaded guilty to five felony counts of burglary and four misdemeanor counts of aiding in the commission of petite larceny. Those charges had been filed in connection with break-ins in July, September and October of 2011.
In some cases, Ruggiero admitted serving as a driver for other defendants. In other cases, he acknowledged entering a business.
In Westminster, the burglaries happened at General Truck and Equipment Inc., Perfect Creations, D&R and Sons Auto Repair, Mr. G’s Liquidation Center, Naughty But Nice and the Rockingham Transfer Station.
Also burglarized were Emerson & Son in Rockingham and, in Saxtons River, The Dish on Main and Pleasant Valley Brewing.
Ruggiero was sentenced to six to 10 years in prison, but that sentence was suspended: His actual sentence was one year behind bars and five years of probation, provided he complied with court-ordered conditions of release that included staying out of trouble.
Part of Ruggiero’s Vermont sentence was intended to apply toward New Hampshire burglaries in which he had taken part.
At the time, defense attorney Ted Kramer said his client’s "biggest mistake was getting involved with illicit substances, which created a dependency."
According to the Vermont Department of Corrections, Ruggiero was released to probation on Aug. 5.
Contacted Monday about the latest allegations against Ruggiero, Kramer said he could not yet comment. There also was no immediate comment from the Windham County State’s Attorney’s office, which had not yet reviewed any paperwork on the matter.
In a press release, McLeod, based at the Rockingham barracks, said State Police responded on Dec. 8 to a reported theft of $280. The victim, a Westminster resident, said she had seen the money in her vehicle’s glove compartment between Nov. 25 and Nov. 27.
The exact date of the alleged theft is not known, police said.
Ruggiero was cited to appear in court on Jan. 28 to answer a citation for petite larceny, McLeod wrote.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.