VERGENNES — A missing purse complaint last week led Vergennes police on a hunt that resulted in two city residents being sent to jail.
Vergennes police received a report from a Main Street resident at 1:18 p.m. on July 17 that her purse had been stolen. She told the officer that her purse — which held her checks, debit and credit cards and the like — had been on the kitchen table at 11 a.m. but she hadn’t seen it since. While the officer was at the residence the victim contacted her credit card company and credit union and found out that one card had been used at a liquor store in Middlebury and there had been a couple ATM withdrawals just in the preceding two hours.
Officer Brent Newton viewed surveillance footage from one of the ATMs and says he identified Sabrina Wedge, 30, using a missing bankcard. While he had Wedge in the office, the victim called police to say that a relative of Wedge’s had returned the purse to the owner. Vergennes police cited Wedge for larceny from the purse, uttering forged instruments and possession of a controlled substance, and lodged her at the Chittenden County Correctional Center.
In the course of his investigation Newton also found evidence that he said implicated Rory Thompson, 31, in the case. As of press time, Newton was preparing a probable cause affidavit that he said would result in Thompson being charged with uttering a forged instrument, identity theft and petty larceny; Newton said Thompson had applied for and used a credit card in his father’s name, and stole and used his parents’ and other people’s checks.
Thompson was lodged at the Marble Valley Correctional Center, not on the forgery and other current charges, but because of an alleged probation violation.
The investigation continues.
In other recent activity, Vergennes police:
• On July 15 at 10:51 a.m. responded to a report of a dog shut in a hot car. The officer found that the owners of the business where the car was parked had taken the dog into their basement to cool it off.
• On July 15 at 11:33 a.m. were called to help Vermont State Police investigate some burglaries.
• On July 15 at 12:09 p.m. received a report of a loose dog in the city park; the dog was gone when police arrived.
• On July 15 at 12:43 p.m. looked into a report of a dog in a hot car.
• On July 15 at 2:42 p.m. were told about two 13-year-old juveniles sending inappropriate photos to each other. Police referred the case to the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations.
• On July 15 at 3:15 p.m. received a report that an iPod and a blue Verizon cell phone had been stolen from the shorts of a juvenile male while he was swimming at the city pool. Police identified a suspect and found him outside a city business at around 6 p.m. When the officer asked the suspect about the incident he denied any involvement. The officer pulled out his cell phone and dialed the number of the stolen cell phone, at which point, Sgt. Pat Greenslet said, “the suspect’s pants began to ring.” The officer took Jason Schaffer, 22, of Bristol into custody and cited him for possession of stolen property.
• On July 16 at 9:50 a.m. looked into a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on Panton Road. Police discovered that the car belonged to a carpenter who was doing work in the area.
• On July 16 at 11 a.m. checked the welfare of an elderly School Street resident. Police said he was not dealing well with the heat and so Vergennes Area Rescue Squad transported him to Porter Hospital.
• On July 17 at 9:54 a.m. went to a North Green Street residence for a report of a family fight. The complainant said his daughter had been assaulted by her boyfriend in the past; the officer reviewed police records and didn’t see any complaints, so the officer passed the case on to state’s attorney’s domestic violence investigator. Greenslet reported that the investigator will interview the alleged victim, who is at the Chittenden County Correctional Center.
• On July 17 at 11:15 a.m. assisted a state trooper from St. Albans who was looking for a male on Route 22A in Panton, but Vergennes police did not find the man.
• On July 17 at 11:55 a.m. responded on behalf of the VSP to Woods Road in Ferrisburgh for a home alarm activation. The officer found that a work crew pressure washing the house had apparently tripped the alarm.
• On July 18 at 11:55 a.m. responded to the City Lights nightclub for a burglary alarm and found that a delivery driver had set it off.
• On July 18 at 4:14 p.m. checked the welfare of a First Street resident after being alerted by Meals on Wheels, and found the resident OK.
• On July 18 at 6:15 p.m. checked out a report of a suspicious man walking in the middle of Monkton Road. The officer found the man, who appeared to be intoxicated and had the odor of intoxicants about him. Police tested his blood alcohol content and found it to be 0.205; as a point of reference, the legal limit for driving in Vermont is 0.08. The John Graham Homeless Shelter, where the man was staying, would not take him back because he was drunk, police said, so the officer took him to the Act One center in Burlington to detox but they refused to house the man so the officer took him to the Chittenden County Correctional Center.
• On July 20 at 10:58 a.m. were called to a Monkton Road home where police were told that an adult boyfriend of the female resident was using the woman’s son’s Adderall prescription medication. The matter is under investigation.
• On July 20 at 7:21 p.m. stopped a Jeep with New York plates for driving 43 mph in a 30 mph zone on Panton Road. A records check showed that the driver, identified as Thomas Celotti, 51, of Crown Point, N.Y., had had his license to drive in Vermont criminally suspended since October 1985. The officer cited Celotti for driving with a criminally suspended license — apparently his first citation on that charge since he lost his license nearly 28 years ago, police said.
• On July 21 at 7:49 a.m. looked into a complaint from a Monkton Road resident that someone was walking a dog with no leash and as a result she had to clean up canine stool in her yard.
• On July 21 at 12:15 p.m. received a report that a U-Haul truck had backed into a house on White Street and damaged the porch. There was no visible damage to the truck.
• On July 21 at 12:59 p.m. assisted a motorist whose antique car had broken down on West Main at Panton Road.
• On July 21 at 8:25 p.m. checked the welfare of a Main Street resident, who was OK.
• On July 21 at 10:03 p.m. received a report that two hitchhikers — a man and a woman — were walking on Route 7. The officer found the man in middle of the northbound lane and reported that both hitchhikers appeared to be very intoxicated. The officer transported the couple to a friend in Middlebury.
• On July 21 at 11:43 p.m. recorded a report of a barking dog noise complaint on Panton Road.