BRATTLEBORO — A local man is accused of stealing a truck and a long list of items from other vehicles.
James Robert Owens, 37, of Brattleboro, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aggravated vehicle operation without the owner’s consent and possession of stolen property for incidents alleged to have occurred in March.
In late December, he pleaded not guilty to 13 counts associated with various burglaries and thefts over the Christmas weekend, as well as an aggravated assault of a Brattleboro man on Christmas Day, and three earlier drug possession charges. He was held on $25,000 bail.
According to the new affidavit, the Chesterfield, N.H., Police Department was asked to respond to an armed robbery at Riverside Hotel in Chesterfield in March 2022. That same day, a report of a stolen truck was made to the Brattleboro Police Department.
Brattleboro police found the truck in the parking lot at Panda North in Brattleboro and determined it was the same vehicle used in the Chesterfield robbery. Owens became a suspect in the crimes.
When Brattleboro officers spoke about the allegations with Owens at his room at the Quality Inn, where he was living due to his lack of housing, he denied knowing what they were talking about. Police later discovered clothing in Owens’ possession matched items worn during the robbery.
Also reported in the affidavit to be found in Owens’ possession were: checks made out to a man along with his Texas driver’s license and military patch with his last name on it; a Vermont driver’s license for a woman who said it was stolen while her car was parked at Brattleboro Subaru; medications taken from a woman who reported her vehicle had been broken into at the 99 Restaurant in Brattleboro; a debit card taken out of a wallet belonging to a man who said his car was broken into while at the Covered Bridge Inn in Brattleboro; a Macy’s credit card stolen from a woman’s car parked at the 99 Restaurant, and a key taken from Total Fitness in Brattleboro.
Owens also pleaded not guilty Tuesday to petty larceny and fraud for allegedly taking a wallet out of a car parked at Brattleboro Ford in September. He is accused of spending about $206 from a credit card in the wallet at Walgreens.
Appearing via teleconference software from Southern State Correctional Facility, Owens said imprisonment saved his life but now he needs treatment for substance use. Judge Katherine Hayes voiced support for getting him help via pre-trial services.