BENNINGTON -- State Police said they recovered an all-terrain vehicle reported stolen in 2013 after the person they say took it also reported it stolen from him.
Aaron M. Burke, 32, of North Branch Street, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a felony count of grand larceny and was released on conditions.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Lauren Ronan, on Nov. 4 James Davis reported a "2013 Big Red Honda ATV" stolen from a job site on Red Mountain Road in Arlington. He said it was valued at $13,000 and did not know who might have taken it. Police recorded its description and vehicle identification number.
On Feb. 17 an ATV with that same VIN was found off East Road in Shaftsbury, apparently abandoned. Police took it for safe keeping and noticed the key in it had a "Morse Repair" key chain. They called Morse Repair and learned those key chains are given to people who have had their vehicles fixed there. When asked about the ATV, the female employee at the repair shop said her relative, Burke, had an ATV of that same kind stolen from him recently.
Burke had filed a report with police the same day the ATV was found saying it, along with other items, was taken from a garage off Ehrich Road in Shaftsbury. When questioned, Burke said he bought the vehicle for $8,000 but could not tell police the model or year.
According to police, Burke ultimately said he took the ATV from Davis because Davis owed him money. The ATV was collateral. Burke was paid later, but was afraid to bring the ATV back. He said the ATV police found was Davis', and it was also the one Burke reported taken from him.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.