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Police cite burglary informant for the crime

BRISTOL — An Addison County man who originally offered police information on a break-in at a Bristol convenience store eventually was implicated in the crime when police found images of a suspect who looked remarkably like the man on a store surveillance video.
On Aug. 26, at a hair past midnight, Bristol Police Officer Randy Crowe responded to the alarm at the Champlain Farms convenience store on West Street in Bristol. Crowe found the new glass door — installed two days earlier — smashed.
Crowe called in backup from the Vermont State Police and the Vergennes Police Department’s K-9 unit. While he waited for assistance, he questioned some girls sitting in the park across the street. They said they hadn’t seen a thing.
While Crowe and the trooper waited for the K-9 unit, 18-year-old Jacob Bachand approached the officers.
“He walked up to the officers and claimed to be the Good Samaritan who saw the crime occur,” said Bristol Police Chief Kevin Gibbs.
A moment later the K-9 unit arrived. Akido, the Vergennes police Belgian malinois, reportedly sniffed out a track from the point of entry, around the store and right back to Bachand.
The police believed they had found their guy, Gibbs reported, but first they wanted to check the security video footage.
“There was one person in the store and he did not match Bachand’s description of the thief, but matched Bachand perfectly from the neck down,” said Gibbs, explaining that the person’s head was not visible in the footage. “When he was confronted with that information, he said the other guy looked kind of like him.”
The officers then showed Bachand the video “and pointed out all the similarities,” said Gibbs. “The tattoo on his upper body, the piece of paper sticking out of his pocket, the pants he was wearing and the shoes he was wearing — everything was identical.”
Bachand eventually admitted to committing the crime, Gibbs said. He allegedly stole four packs of cigarettes and led the officers to where they were hidden behind the post office. He was cited for burglary, providing false information to the police and mischief for smashing the door.
In other Bristol police news, officers are investigating a mysterious death on Sept. 1.
Russell Longe, 42, a longtime Hardwick resident who reportedly had recently moved to Bristol, was found on the steps of his South Street home — semiconscious and bleeding from the head — by a South Street neighbor.
The neighbor took him to Porter Hospital and dropped him off. He was later transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, where he died. He is survived by his wife, Colleen Longe of Bristol; three children, Daniel Longe, Shy-ann Longe and Jimmie Emerson; and several other family members.
Whether Longe was the victim of a homicide or his injury was accidental or self-induced is unknown at this time.
Chief Gibbs explained late last week that the police department is trying to reach a relative and a roommate, but that neither was willing to cooperate at that time.
He also mentioned that the incident “sounds really nefarious when you hear (Longe) was just dropped off,” but that the neighbor may have waited for some time before leaving the hospital.
“We have no reason to be concerned about that individual,” he added. “She’s been very cooperative.”
Gibbs indicated that the investigation will continue, but he fears it may reach a dead end.
“While it all looks really suspicious, we haven’t found anything to determine that his death was caused by someone else, but we can’t totally rule that out,” he said.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at andrews@addisonindependent.com.

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