BENNINGTON — Two people were arrested after they allegedly broke into multiple cars parked at Northside Drive businesses Tuesday evening, according to police.
Kirra L. Graves and Nicholas A. Palmisano, both 21, allegedly stole roughly $4,000 worth of items including electronics, clothes and tools from at least nine cars, according to documents filed in Vermont Superior Court. Both individuals pleaded not guilty to felony charges Wednesday.
Graves, of Salisbury, M.D., is being held on $2,500 bail and was ordered to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, South Burlington. Palmisano, of Ocean City, M.D., is being held on $10,000 bail and was ordered to the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility, Rutland.
Police said Wednesday they were trying to return property to their owners.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Robert Murawski, he was dispatched to Walmart at 210 Northside Drive just after 7 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a suspicious black vehicle and a man attempting to break a car window. The vehicle left the parking lot before officers arrived.
At about 8:44 p.m., a man contacted the Bennington Police Department and reported seeing three to four people driving a black vehicle with Maryland license plates trying to break into a vehicle in the parking lot of the Hannaford Supermarket. The man also said he had returned to his car after shopping at Aldi to find items missing including recent purchases from Sears and Walmart.
Bennington Police Officer Michael Pierce stopped a black 2005 Toyota Prius with Maryland license plates. Graves, the driver, and Palmisano, the passenger, were detained for questioning, according to the affidavit.
Graves and Palmisano allegedly told police they were coming from the town of Peru where they live temporarily while working at Stratton Mountain Resort and were looking for somewhere to cash a money order. They also allegedly said there were no stolen items inside the car. Graves allegedly said the vehicle was Palmisano's and that he would not consent to a vehicle search.
One witness told police they were in the Aldi's parking lot at about 8:30 p.m. when they saw Palmisano take items from a car and then a tool box from a pickup truck bed.
Officers saw a Carhartt jacket and a Ryobi tool set in the car's back seat; both items were in plain view and were among those reported stolen, according to the affidavit.
Police obtained a search warrant and subsequently searched the Prius just after midnight Wednesday. Items found in the Prius included: The Ryobi tool set with an estimated value of $200; a Bose SoundLink Speaker, $350; a ski jacket, $300; a box with multiple tools and towing components, $400; a Garmin GPS with a pre-programmed home address, $100; a bowling ball, $40; as well as phone chargers and other small items.
Graves and Palmisano each pleaded not guilty to one felony count of possessing stolen property greater than $900, one felony county of conspiring to distribute stolen property greater than $900, and seven misdemeanor counts of larceny under $900.
Palmisano also pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of attempted unlawful mischief and providing false information to a law enforcement officer.
Both Graves and Palmisano are being represented by the Bennington County Public Defenders Office and are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25 for a calendar call.
Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979