Man pleads not guilty to document theft

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BURLINGTON (AP) -- A Vermont man has pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing an historical document from the Fletcher Free library in Burlington and trying to sell it.

Police say Patrick Rooney of Colchester took the more than 220-year-old document regarding the town of Sterling while he was given access to the public library’s historical collection. Authorities say he then tried to sell it to University of Vermont’s Bailey-Howe Library.

The Burlington Free Press reports the 55-year-old Rooney told reporters he had no comment as he walked out of court Tuesday.

He’s scheduled to return for a hearing Feb. 19.

The document, which was written in 1791, is related to Ira Allen, a founder of the state of Vermont and a brother of Ethan Allen. It’s been returned to the library.


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