By Eric Francis
Special To The Standard
Daytime burglaries into three Woodstock residences over the past week that appear to be targeting jewelry have been matched with similar incursions into homes in Bridgewater, Quechee, and Hartland during the same time period, and police believe the same thief or thieves are responsible.
“We think they are all related. It could be two or three people. We don’t know,” Woodstock Police Chief Robbie Blish said Wednesday, noting that the one constant was, “All these homes were left unlocked during the day.”
“We are asking residents to report any suspicious persons or vehicles that they observe immediately,” Blish said as he again encouraged residents to start locking things.
“Don’t make it easy for the bad guy,” Blish urged, “Lock your house, lock your car. It’s unfortunate because people pride themselves on ‘I never have to lock my house here in Vermont’ but I think the reality is that a certain degree of the crime has come here so don’t make it simple for them. It doesn’t take long to turn around and lock your door.”
The clue police would really like to find is a vehicle out of place on the town’s back roads and Blish urged residents to be on the lookout for anything unusual. “These are all spread out. The ones we had out in the town were homes where you would have to drive there to get there,” Blish noted.
The chief is asking anyone who might have any information on these crimes to contact the lead investigator assigned to the cases, Officer Joe Swanson, at 457-1420.
“Hartford has had a bunch of them, and we are working with Hartford and I have reached out to the Vermont State Police Royalton Barracks to try and get some leads,” Blish said, pointing out that the out-of-town residential thefts were not far from the Woodstock line, including one home up in the High Pastures area behind the Taftsville Covered Bridge.
Downtown White River Junction and West Lebanon also had three commercial burglaries last week but those were definite break-ins where the perpetrators pried open windows at City Tire, the Four Aces Diner, and Kibbey Equipment taking cash, bashing open a large safe with tools, and in one case leaving a crowbar stuck right in the front door of a building on Maple Street. “That was definitely a different crew,” Chief Blish noted.
This article first appeared in the September 29th print edition of the Vermont Standard.