BRISTOL — When the teenage son of a Mountain Street resident in Bristol returned home on Jan. 17, he found two broken storm windows and the back door to the house left ajar, Bristol police report. The resident then returned home to find cash, alcohol and an expensive cigar missing.
With help from a neighbor, who witnessed the suspicious activity, Bristol police were able to identify the alleged culprit using images from Facebook. Police then arrested Jamie Weening, 16, of Bristol and cited him for burglary and possession of alcohol by a minor.
Bristol Police Chief Kevin Gibbs said Weening admitted to stealing alcohol and tobacco, but denied taking cash. After seeing a string of Bristol burglaries, the police are using forensic evidence to investigate whether Weening was involved in other crimes.
Between Dec. 11 and Jan. 26, Bristol police:
•On Dec. 11 charged a Mount Abraham Union High School student with multiple counts of lewd conduct and at least one count of sexual assault. An investigation into this male’s behavior began on Nov. 21, when police heard that he had exposed himself and sexually touched underage girls at Mount Abe. Police identified up to 15 victims, and everyone involved, including the alleged perpetrator, is under the age of 18. The male has not been in school since the initiation of the investigation, and Gibbs said he will remain out of school until permitted by Mount Abe and the Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF).
•On Dec. 15 received a report from a district resident that she found her ex-boyfriend’s car in the driveway with a suicide note in it. They had an earlier meeting in court about child support, and the man left the meeting upset. The woman returned home to find the car and the note. The Vermont State Police’s K-9 unit was brought in to track the man, but was unsuccessful. Just as a Bristol officer returned to the office to broadcast the situation to other departments, a state trooper located the man walking on Mountain Street. A representative from the Counseling Service of Addison County arrived and deemed the man to be no threat to himself.
•On Dec. 15 cited Jacob Bachand, 19, of Bristol for retail theft, violation of conditions of release and criminal possession of alcohol by a minor after he allegedly walked into Shaw’s, took three Bud Lights and walked out.
•On Dec. 16 began investigating the report of an apparent drug transaction in which a small bag and money were allegedly exchanged at the edge of Mount Abe’s property.
•On Dec. 17 received a report of a domestic disturbance on Crescent Street. After a verbal altercation, a male subject kicked in several doors as he left a woman’s residence. She did not give a written statement and did not obtain a relief from abuse order, but instead requested police issue a no-trespass notice against the man.
•On Dec. 18 received a report at 2 a.m. from a Garfield Street resident that a car was idling in the driveway next door. When Gibbs arrived, no one was in the car, but it was warm.
•On Dec. 18 received a complaint from a North Street resident about a suspicious white male in his 40s. The man apparently asked the resident if he wanted to purchase some steak or chicken. The resident told the police he had a friend who encountered a similar incident, and the salesman later broke into his friend’s house. The suspicious man’s black Toyota pickup truck had New York plates, two freezers in the back and a sticker that read “Prime.” There were no further complaints related to such activity.
•On Dec. 19 received a report that a male student at Mount Abe inappropriately touched three female students. After Bristol police and DCF interviewed three victims, no criminal act was found to have been committed.
•On Dec. 20 responded to a burglary on Pine Street that occurred between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Cash and a number of collectible coins were stolen. Police have a suspect.
•On Dec. 21 responded to two minor crashes in the Shaw’s parking lot. No one was injured in either crash.
•On Dec. 23 cited John Cunningham, 38, of Middlebury for petit larceny. Cunningham allegedly stole copper that was piled up next to 31 Main St. for renovations. One of the building’s tenants witnessed the theft and wrote down Cunningham’s plate identification. The police found him and said he admitted to cashing in about $65 worth of scrap, but said he wasn’t aware the copper belonged to anyone.
•On Dec. 23 from 9-11:30 p.m., took part in a DUI checkpoint on Route 7 in Middlebury.
•On Dec. 24 responded to Mountain Greens Market, where the back door was pummeled and broken in several places, but did not give way.
•On Dec. 24 during a traffic stop, a vehicle was found with a stolen inspection sticker on it. The Bristol police are currently working with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles on this case, and the police believe the stickers were stolen from RC Motorsports in Essex.
•On Dec. 25 received a call from a North Street resident that her neighbor’s door was wide open, while the neighbor was out of state. An officer checked the apartment, and there were no signs of forced entry and nothing inside appeared to be disturbed. The officer thought the door was locked, but wasn’t closed all the way and blew open while the resident was away. The resident was told to call if anything was missing and no call has been received.
•On Dec. 27 received a report of a domestic disturbance on East Street. Gibbs said a minor breakup stimulated a yelling match and no one was cited.
•On Dec. 27 performed a welfare check on a South Street apartment. A concerned Bristol resident contacted the police when he wasn’t able to reach his elderly family members. An officer arrived at the residence of the elderly family members to find a car in the driveway and lights on. After repeatedly calling and knocking on the door of the residence, the officer made entry through the window. The elderly couple was alive and well.
•On Dec. 29 received a report from the Champlain Farms manager about drugs being sold in a car in the store’s parking lot. The vehicle’s registration number was obtained and the police are following up.
•On Dec. 31 responded to the alarm at Mount Abe, which was activated by three youths inside the school. Police located the trio and called their parents. One of the youths said he went into the school to turn off the radio. When he was inside the school, he said he was scared and ran out the front door, which set off the alarm.
•On Jan. 2 found an iPhone with a black-and-white rubber cover in a pink-and-black pouch on a Pleasant Street sidewalk. No one has yet claimed it and the police tried to turn it on, but it has a password lock.
•On Jan. 5 responded to a burglary at a South Street apartment that occurred Jan. 1-4 while the residents were away. The burglar forcibly entered the first-floor window, and took a flat-screen TV, jewelry and other items. No suspects have been identified.
•On Jan. 5 responded to a theft in progress at the police impound next to the town landfill. A Burpee Road resident caught two individuals who the resident said were trying to take batteries out of equipment on his property. The thieves headed to the town impound, and the resident followed them. When the resident arrived at the impound, he reported seeing the apparent thieves jumping up and down on cars. The police were contacted, and when Gibbs arrived, he found the two individuals trying to remove parts from a vehicle. When they saw Gibbs, they ran off toward the landfill and left their tools. State police support was requested, but the two subjects weren’t located.
•On Jan. 9 responded to a burglary at Claire Lathrop Band Mill Inc. near downtown. Five chainsaws, a bolt cutter, 200 feet of welding cable and two fire extinguishers were reported stolen. The police have identified three suspects and found insulation consistent with the welding cable near the residence of one suspect. The case is still under investigation.
•On Jan. 9 warned a police district resident for illegally dumping trash at a Woodland Drive apartment complex’s Dumpsters. The resident returned to the property to collect the trash.
•On Jan. 12 dealt with a burglary at Kountry Trailer Park, where a resident reported someone had broken into her shed. This case is still under investigation.
•On Jan. 13 dealt with a burglary at Thad’s Automotive and Tire on West Street. Two suspects in the early morning smashed open a metal lock box at the corner of the building and stole a check and a key to a car sitting in the parking lot. The owner followed the burglar’s tracks to Kountry Trailer Park, but didn’t continue. Gibbs said the state police dispatcher didn’t contact him until hours later.
•On Jan. 16 responded to another burglary at the Pine Street residence that was previously broken into for collectible coins and cash. Although the incident was reported on the 16th, the residents believe it happened on the previous Wednesday.
The homeowners thought their son had left tools on their kitchen table, but when asked about the tools, the son said they weren’t his. The homeowners then realized that the tools belonged to a burglar, who left signs of forced entry, like a cut screen on the window that was used in the first burglary and a broken kitchen door. The homeowners didn’t find anything missing.
•On Jan. 17 received a report that someone believed to be driving a yellow Toyota Tundra or Sequoia had struck a light pole behind the National Bank of Middlebury between noon on Jan. 14 and 7 a.m. on Jan. 17.
•On Jan. 17 dealt with Ricky Lawrence, 20, of Bristol, who police said damaged the bathroom at Cubbers Restaurant. Police located Lawrence behind the restaurant, and cited him for possession of alcohol by a minor. Gibbs said Lawrence struck a payment agreement with the restaurant to fix the damage.
•On Jan. 17 received a report of stolen windshield wipers from a car parked at Bristol Works off Munsill Avenue.
•On Jan. 18 received a report from a Bristol resident who found a .22 caliber gun with ammo by the Lord’s Prayer Rock on Route 116. Police said the man reported that while he was urinating by the parking lot, he saw light reflecting off of something near the rock; and he found it was the gun and a large number of .22 caliber rounds. Gibbs said the man apparently has a felony background and so wiped the gun clean after picking it up. The police are working with the state police to confirm ownership of the gun.
•On Jan. 20 responded to a Mountain Street resident’s concern of a possibly rabid skunk.
“Apparently they have a skunk living under its front porch. It may have borne young and was seen out in the daytime,” said Gibbs. “Residents in the area of Mountain Street between Garfield and Spring streets should use caution when walking on sidewalks because there’s a family of skunks living under the porch there.”
The police provided suggestions about how to get the skunks out without harming them, like smoking them out and blocking their access back in. Gibbs said Department of Fish and Wildlife officials and local animal control officers wouldn’t deal with this issue. In the end, the police suggested the resident use a humane trap and release the animals in the forest behind their house.
•On Jan. 25 arrested Eric Loyer for aggravated stalking, violation of conditions of release and violation of probation. The police received a report on Jan. 24 that Loyer convinced a 14-year-old boy to come into his home by offering him a cookie. The boy apparently left the home, and Loyer followed him, harassing and threatening him until he encountered two unknown adults in the park, Gibbs said. The adults noticed something was awry and held Loyer there, while the 14-year-old made his way to Cubbers to call his mom. Loyer was on probation for a number of offenses and was arraigned on Jan. 26. Gibbs said on Monday that Loyer is currently being held at a correctional facility without bail.
•On Jan. 25 received a report from a Bristol resident that her daughter’s $200 pair of boots were stolen from a Mount Abe locker room while the child was participating in after-school sports. One suspect has been identified.
•On Jan. 26 received a report of a $650 bad check given to a local landlord for past rent. Police gave the landlord a form letter to let the person know that the check was no good and that the person has 10 days to come up with a good check or police action will be taken.