Keg theft

An employee of Ramunto's took this photograph of a van loading kegs outside the restaurant in Bennington.

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BENNINGTON — Police arrested two local men after a brazen daylight theft of several beer kegs from outside Ramunto’s restaurant on Main Street on Thursday morning.

The Bennington Police Department received a report of the theft at Ramunto’s, at 519 Main St. in Bennington, early Thursday. After reviewing video footage captured by surveillance cameras, they identified the two individuals seen loading aluminum kegs into a vehicle and fleeing the area. The two males were identified as Joseph L. Hewson, 30, of Bennington, and Richard M. Stell, 32, of Bennington. Both men were apprehended Friday morning, processed and released with citations to appear in Bennington Superior Court for the offense of larceny.

The kegs have not been recovered.

Stell and Hewson claimed to police that they sold the kegs to a woman named “Helen” from New York. The beer kegs, considered half-kegs because of their smaller size, are heavy. They’re aluminum, so they are scrapable. Danielle Mone, bar manager at Ramunto’s, told the Banner on Thursday that she believed the thieves were taking the kegs over the border into New York for cash. She did not want to disclose the value of the kegs for fear of prompting copycat thefts.

An early-arriving employee at Ramunto’s spotted the duo loading kegs into a gold minivan at about 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, about 15 minutes before the restaurant was set to open for the day. The employee was able to shoot a photo through her car’s mirror, which was later posted to social media.

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Within minutes of the posting, several people called the restaurant with information on the identity of the thieves, including the supposed mother of one of the men, telling Mone that she thought her son was responsible. Police were called, and, after an initial investigation, the two arrests were made 24 hours after the incident.

When contacted by the Banner after the arrests Friday morning, Mone was thrilled that the duo was arrested.

“That’s great for us, just awesome, Mone said. “These are the same guys we knew did it from all the calls we received yesterday. Justice was done. I hope they learn from this. There are plenty of jobs out there.”

Anyone with further information related to the keg theft at Ramunto’s is asked to call Officer Robert Murawski at the Bennington Police Department at 802-442-1030.


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