Unable to move register, burglar takes sanitizer

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BENNINGTON — A New Hampshire man has pleaded not guilty to driving a stolen vehicle, trying to steal a Peru store's cash register and instead taking a bottle of disinfectant from the store.

Matthew Tyler, 21, of Claremont, N.H., is charged with burglary, aggravated vehicle operation without the owners' consent, attempted petit larceny of $900 or less, as well as unlawful mischief of $250 or less. Burglary, his most serious charge, is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The Vermont State Police believes he broke into the J.J. Hapgood General Store in the early hours of June 15 by prying loose a window panel, court documents show.

The store's surveillance video reportedly recorded him outside the store, along with a Toyota truck that had no rear license plate. The video also showed him inside the store, holding the cash register and trying to take it, Trooper Shawn Sommers said in a sworn statement filed in Bennington Superior criminal court.

Article Continues After Advertisement

Sommers said Tyler wasn't able to take the cash register but that the store owner found he'd taken a spray bottle of disinfectant, which cost $3 to $5.

Article Continues After These Ads

The Springfield Police Department apparently identified Tyler as the burglary suspect after the VSP publicized images from the surveillance video, asking the public for information about the incident.

Springfield police said the truck seen in the video had been reported stolen by a car dealership in Claremont, N.H., and that they found the vehicle abandoned by the roadside, according to Sommers' statement.

The Claremont (N.H.) Police Department spoke to Tyler's girlfriend, who reportedly said they were together in the early hours of June 15, when Tyler left and came back with two sets of Toyota keys. She told him to return the keys, and he left, the affidavit states.

Article Continues After Advertisement

On June 16, Springfield police found Tyler in their town and arrested him.

The following day, he pleaded not guilty in Windsor Superior criminal court. The court imposed a bail of $2,500 and imposed conditions for release, including ordering Tyler to stay away from the J.J. Hapgood General Store.

Contact Tiffany Tan at ttan@benningtonbanner.com or @tiffgtan on Facebook and Twitter.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions