Tuesday May 21, 2013

BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man was accused of wrongfully taking a woman’s car and using her debit card.

Damon Bellamy, 47, pleaded not guilty Monday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division to misdemeanor counts of vehicle operation without owner consent, and possession of stolen property. He was released on conditions he not harass the vehicle’s owner.

According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Wayne Godfrey, on March 10 he spoke to a woman in Shaftsbury who said she had broken up with her boyfriend, Bellamy, on March 8 and he had left with her car that night without telling her and has not returned it. She said her debit card was also missing and she learned three withdrawals had been made from it in Schenectady, N.Y. for the amounts of $82, $202, and $204. She said Bellamy used to live in Schenectady.

She told police she and Bellamy had arranged for him to return the vehicle and he had come to her place of employment but she did not go outside. She said he left with the vehicle and did not return it.

Godfrey contacted Bellamy on his cell phone and was told the car had been towed in Albany, N.Y., because police there pulled him over and found he did not have a license to drive. He said had been given the key to the vehicle by the woman, however she disputed this.

According to the affidavit, Bellamy admitted to using the debit card without permission and told police he has a drug problem.

~Keith Whitcomb Jr.