Former trooper aids in arrest of burglar

NEW HAVEN — Vermont State Police on Tuesday received help from a retired trooper and another citizen in arresting a Starksboro man, who was then charged with burglary of the former trooper’s New Haven home and of several other burglaries in nearby towns.
VSP arrested and lodged Michael LaFlam, 32, of Starksboro and charged him with the string of burglaries. He was held for $25,000 bail.
VSP also cited Crystal King, 22, of Starksboro as an accessory to the break-in in New Haven. VSP alleged King was waiting in a car to help LaFlam flee the scene.
LaFlam was arrested after he entered the home of New Haven zoning administrator Chris Messerle, a former VSP trooper, at about noon on Tuesday. According to a VSP release, LaFlam was walking into an upstairs bedroom when Messerle saw him and yelled at him.
LaFlam fled the home and tried to hide in grass next to a road near Messerle’s home. But Messerle and an acquaintance found LaFlam and held him until VSP arrived and took LaFlam into custody, as well as King.
According to the VSP press release, “additional investigation” led to the charges against LaFlam in the other burglaries.
On Aug. 9, VSP sent out a press release warning the public about a “recent rash of daytime burglaries in Addison County” and asking anyone seeing suspicious activity to report it immediately.
On Wednesday, Sgt. James Hogan said the man arrested in the New Haven burglary on Tuesday might be implicated in one or more of the series of daytime burglaries around the county in the last two weeks. He said troopers are doing further investigation on the matter.
On Wednesday, Messerle said he was grateful for the citizen who helped him, a man who preferred to remain anonymous.
Messerle also said he was happy to put his training back into use, but that LaFlam told VSP he was less happy about his choice of targets.
“He told the troopers yesterday he picked the wrong house,” Messerle said.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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