String of burglaries end with bust

VERGENNES — Vergennes police, with the help of three other agencies and two tips, on Monday cited a Rutland man and a Vergennes woman in connection with a string of six home burglaries committed in the city between late December and Jan. 18.
On Monday, Nicholas C. Moretti, 36, of Rutland was cited for the six burglaries. The citations were served on him at Addison District Court, where he was already being arraigned on outstanding warrants for burglary, assault on a correctional officer, petit larceny and unlawful mischief.
Vergennes police also cited Melissa Norris, 35, a resident of a 206 Main St. apartment, for accessory to burglary, possession of stolen property, illegal possession of a regulated drug (prescription painkillers), and possession of marijuana. Police described Norris as Moretti’s girlfriend.
The string of burglaries targeted electronics, jewelry, prescription drugs, silverware and coins. Homes broken into included two on Meadow Lane, two on MacDonough Drive, and one each on School and Green streets. Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel said some homeowners would get some of their property back, but not all the stolen goods were recovered.
Acting on what Merkel said was an anonymous tip, Vergennes police last week went to Norris’s apartment, and they said Norris “admitted being an accessory in some of the burglaries” and gave police permission to search the apartment.
Merkel said they found jewelry, coins, prescription drugs and electronic devices, including a blu-ray player, an iPod and an iHome. Vermont State Police also later recovered from a Salisbury home a wide-screen TV that police said was stolen from one of the Vergennes homes.
From a second anonymous tip, Merkel said city police also learned that Moretti would be at the downtown Rutland Wal-Mart on Friday. Because Moretti was wanted on the outstanding warrants, Vergennes police informed Rutland police, who then nabbed Moretti at the Wal-Mart and lodged him at the Marble Valley Correctional Center until he could be arraigned on Monday.
Vergennes officer Brent Newton then served Moretti the additional citations after his arraignment. Moretti and Norris were both ordered to appear in Addison District Court on Feb. 28.
Merkel said police are still investigating Moretti’s activities, and that additional charges may be pending. He also praised the work of VSP, Rutland police and the Addison County Sheriff’s Department.
“It was a good cooperative effort all they way around,” Merkel said. “Everyone did just a super job.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.

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