Cat burglar took items from her Bennington neighbors' homes
KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- Police said a Robinson Avenue woman entered her neighbors homes and took items valued at thousands of dollars, but also took things of no value to her, such as birth certificates and passports.
Nikki Lixx, 42, of 30 Robinson Ave., pleaded not guilty Monday to five counts of burglary, three counts of grand larceny, two misdemeanor counts of possession of stolen property, and possession of a narcotic. The Department of Corrections revoked her furlough status which she was placed on last year after pleading guilty to identity theft and forgery. Lixx is being charged as a habitual offender and if convicted of a new felony it's possible she could face up to a life term in prison.
The affidavit of probable cause in regard to Lixx's case was made available Tuesday. It describes a number of reported burglaries police say they have tied to her.
Police released a statement Friday saying Lixx was tackled by local residents after one caught her in his home, however the affidavit, written by Bennington Police Office Thalia J. Hudson, indicated that Lixx was merely followed and prevented from leaving the area.
Hudson wrote that on Friday she spoke to Michael J. Thompson, 36, of Robinson Avenue, who said he was in his basement in the early morning hours when he heard footsteps upstairs. He went to check who it was and saw a woman he did not know, later identified as Lixx. She ran off and he called 911, then he followed Lixx outside where he was joined by neighbors in trailing her until police arrived.
Thompson reported his wallet was missing and, according to police, Lixx confessed to having taken it and placed it near a tree after she left his house. Lixx told police she was on Thompson's property because she was following a cat she wished to play with. At first she denied entering his house but ultimately admitted to doing so. Police said Thompson does not own a cat.
Hudson wrote that on March 13 police investigated a burglary at the home of Daniel and Janet Lucy of Robinson Avenue. The Lucy family reported that someone entered their home during the night and took numerous items including a laptop computer. Lixx told police she took the laptop and still has it but did not admit to the other items.
On April 3, Patricia Venti, of Pageant Street, reported someone stole a debit card from her home, along with $25 cash from her wallet. She noticed something was amiss when items in her house had been moved around. Venti's debit card was later found in Lixx's purse and Lixx admitted to entering Venti's home and taking the card.
Police said on April 4, Rosalie Smith, 72, of Robinson Avenue, was in her bedroom when she heard a noise in her living room. She went to see her front door had been forced open but the safety chain was still in place. She said a male was on her porch but left and went around the back of the home.
According to police, Thomas Lyons, of Bank Street, reported that on April 15 someone entered his house and took 12 watches valued at $2,000, coins, a wallet, two paintings valued at $1,000 each, a passport, and prescription medication. Lixx confessed to entering Lyons' home after she was told the passport and a birth certificate belonging to Lyons and a family member were found in her home. Lixx said she did not know why she took those items as they are of no use to her.
On April 16, police investigated a burglary at the Turgeon residence on Robinson Avenue where $2,300 in jewelry and electronic items were reported taken. Lixx admitted to taking the electronics but not the jewelry.
Police said they found a global positioning system (GPS) in Lixx's home and used the address programmed into it to locate its owner, Joseph Candal, of Dewey Street, who reported it stolen from his vehicle in 2009. Lixx admitted it was stolen but did not recall from where. Police said they found a second GPS device which they traced to another Dewey Street address.
An iPad found in Lixx's home was traced to Nancy Shay, of Imperial Avenue, who was not aware the device was missing. Police said an acquaintance of Lixx's live on Lafayette Street, which is near Imperial Avenue.
At Lixx's home police found a strip of Suboxone, a narcotic used to treat opiate addiction. Lixx does not have a prescription for it.
Police said Lixx also admitted to entering parked cars numerous times to take items but could not remember specific dates this was done or what items she removed.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.
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