Eight charges filed in vehicle break-ins

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Editor's Note: This article was updated at 7:45 a.m. on Feb. 26 to include additional information.

BRATTLEBORO — A Deerfield, Mass., man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to eight charges from separate incidents that include stealing catalytic converters and using a stolen credit card to buy more than $1,200 worth of gift cards from Market 32 on Canal Street in Brattleboro.

The investigation that resulted in the charges filed against Patrick Boyer, 33, began on Jan. 12 after the Brattleboro Police Department responded to 50 Central St. for "numerous drug complaints," states an affidavit filed by Officer Joshua Lynde. Upon arrival, officers learned a vehicle parked nearby had been reported stolen that same day from Chesterfield, N.H. Inside the vehicle, officers discovered eight catalytic converters and a reciprocating saw. Officers were told by residents at 50 Central St. that Boyer had arrived in the vehicle. Boyer denied the claim but surveillance footage obtained by the police clearly showed the vehicle arriving with Boyer behind the wheel, states the affidavit. Boyer told Lynde that "another male brought the vehicle to Central Street during the day and he borrowed it to run an errand."

Lynde also learned from officers with the Chesterfield Police Department that the vehicle had been stolen from Granite Auto Sales on Route 9 and that a number of vehicles in the lot were missing catalytic converters.

On Jan. 18, Officer Timothy Cunningham responded to Moreland Avenue to a report of items stolen from a parked vehicle. Cunningham learned that a credit card, two debit cards and a health savings card were removed from the vehicle. The victim told police that she learned her credit card was used that same day to make a $2.29 purchase at Walgreen's on Canal Street, but that purchase was declined. Cunningham went to the Walgreen's and viewed surveillance footage, on which he saw Boyer attempting to use the credit card.

On Feb. 5, the Brattleboro Police Department located a stolen vehicle from Hinsdale, N.H., on Frost Street. The owner of the vehicle arrived to identify it and told officers that a credit card and multiple gift cards were missing. Before the owner arrived, wrote Lynde in a separate affidavit, he spotted Boyer walking by the vehicle. Boyer was asked if he had keys to the vehicle and denied it,

offering a search of himself. When Lynde searched Boyer's pockets, he found the missing gift cards.

"While speaking to Boyer, we asked him to show us the bottom of his shoes," wrote Lynde. "When he did, we found the tread of his shoes matched the footprints all around the stolen truck."

During the investigation, Lynde obtained surveillance footage from the Market 32, which showed a woman, later identified as Theresa Gay, 45, of Brattleboro, using the credit card. Surveillance footage also showed Gay attempting to use the credit card across the street at the Walgreen's.

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Gay told police that Boyer told her "he wasn't allowed in Market 32" and asked her to purchase $700 worth of gift cards "for his family so he could pay some bills."

Boyer also asked her to buy a mobile phone for him at Walgreen's, said Gay, but that purchase was declined. At the time, said Gay, Boyer was driving what was later identified as the stolen vehicle from Hinsdale.

On Feb. 11, Lynde learned of multiple vehicle break-ins from the Northfield, Mass., Police Department, which occurred during the night of Feb. 7 and 8. Lynde learned that a credit card stolen from one of the vehicles was used to buy more than $500 worth of gift cards at Market 32 and about $125 worth of gift cards from Walgreen's. In both cases, Gay again made the purchases for Boyer, wrote Lynde.

Then, on the next day, Lynde received another call from the Northfield Police Department that a credit card stolen from a vehicle there was used at Market 32. In that case, the purchase was declined. Lynde once again identified Gay as the person who attempted to use the card. Gay told Lynde she got the card from Boyer.

Boyer pleaded not guilty to four counts of buying, receiving, selling, possessing or concealing stolen property, one count of operating a vehicle without the owner's consent, disorderly conduct, one count of petty larceny and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card.

He was released on conditions and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. in the main reading room of Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro there will be a public discussion about recent vehicle break-ins. Members of the Windham County delegation will be in attendance.

Following his court hearing on Tuesday, Boyer was taken into custody on an extradictitable arrest warrant out of the state of Massachusetts related to the theft of a motor vehicle. He was ordered held on a $10,000 bond and will appear in court on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.


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