Men charged with burglaries Charges tied to string of break-ins
BENNINGTON -- Two men pleaded not guilty to burglary charges Monday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division and were released on conditions. Two others have been cited on theft-related charges.
Joshua Bishop, 21, and Ryhan Sullivan, 23, both of Shaftsbury, each pleaded not guilty to one count of burglary. They were released on conditions they abide by a 3 to 12 p.m. curfew, live in Bennington County, and not have contact with the other co-defendants, each other, or the alleged victims.
State Police said they’ve also cited Randall Burdick and Nicholas Leonard, both 24 and of Bennington, on theft charges. Deputy State’s Attorney Robert Plunkett said Burdick and Leonard will be arraigned next week.
State Trooper Brian Turner said police have been investigating a large number of car break-ins in Pownal over Easter weekend. Police received an anonymous tip that Leonard, who was on house arrest, was involved and that some of the stolen property was at 235 Main St. in Bennington.
Turner said Leonard was not at his home when police arrived, a violation of the parole conditions he is under for convictions on grossly negligent vehicle operation, excessive speed, attempting to elude a police officer, violating an abuse prevention order, and possession of marijuana.
Leonard was contacted and told to return home, which he did. Turner said troopers, along with the held of the Bennington Police Department, searched his home and found several thousand dollars worth in equipment believed to have been taken from vehicles in Pownal, Bennington, and Williamstown, Mass.
Police also cited Leonard’s roommate, Lyle Aiken, 27, for drug possession but have not linked him to any thefts.
According to an affidavit by Trooper James Wright, who assisted in searching Leonard’s apartment, a 32-inch gray Akai flatscreen television was found, which matched the description of a television taken from the home of Brian Lacroix on Tunic Road in Shaftsbury. He said Leonard’s shoes were compared to a footprint found at the home, which Lacroix had placed a bucket over to protect, and they matched.
Wright said photos of Sullivan and Burdick were found on one of the stolen iPods and depicted them holding electronic equipment. He said Aiken told police Sullivan and Bishop were responsible for the vehicle thefts, and said Sullivan, Burdick, Bishop and Leonard all work for D4 Seasons Landscaping.
Lacroix told police Bishop is a family friend and would have known when he was off on vacation.
According to the affidavit, Sullivan told police that he was asked by Leonard to drive him to a house on Tunic Road along with Bishop. He said he dropped them both off and waited a ways off for them to call. When he came back, he saw Leonard had a large television and what they said was $500, but he later learned it was closer to $3,000.
Sullivan said he knew they intended to burglarize a residence and had been paid $200 to drive them.
Bishop told police he’d spoken to Leonard about Lacroix being away, and that Leonard said they should burglarize his house. Bishop said he acted as a look-out while Leonard went in through a basement window.
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