Man charged with storage unit theft

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BENNINGTON — A local man has denied two felony charges after being accused of breaking into a storage unit, stealing numerous items and then re-selling them online.

Christopher R. Gibbons, 24, allegedly stole some $3,000 worth of electronics and family items including war memorabilia and jewelry last month.

Gibbons pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division on Monday to felony burglary and grand larceny, and misdemeanor selling stolen property (two counts).

Judge David A. Howard released him with conditions. Gibbons, who does not have a criminal history, will return to court on Nov. 27.

A woman called police on Sept. 23 after she went to her unit at Bennington Self Storage on Morse Road and found boxes had been cut open and stepped on, furniture pieces had been moved around, and some property was missing, according to an affidavit by Bennington police.

Items reported missing included several pairs of Ugg boots, a Hess Toy Trucks collection with 34 trucks, World War II artifacts that originally belonged to a deceased relative, electronic devices and coins. The total value of the missing property was estimated to be $3,161.

Police received information that items Gibbons was trying to sell on Facebook were taken from the storage unit, according to the affidavit. Police arranged a controlled purchase of items from Gibbons on Sept. 26.

A Bennington police employee posed as the buyer and met Gibbons in the parking lot of the Cumberland Farms on Northside Drive. According to the affidavit, Gibbons arrived with a black garbage bag with numerous pairs of Ugg boots.

Gibbons, in an interview with police, allegedly admitted to breaking into the unit, stealing items and then selling them.

"Gibbons advised the reason for doing so was purely for profit because he was in need of money," Officer Daniel Ferrara wrote in the affidavit.

Police searched the car Gibbons was driving and recovered wooden boxes containing war memorabilia and jewelry that had been reported missing. More items were recovered from an apartment on Willowbrook Drive, according to the affidavit.

A stolen pet stroller was recovered at a North Street residence. An individual told police that Gibbons sold it to him for $40 and he wasn't aware it had been stolen.

Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.

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