Vergennes: Police arrest man suspected in series of break-ins

VERGENNES — Vergennes and Vermont State police teamed up on Aug. 15 to arrest the man Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel said is responsible for the wave of recent car break-ins in the city, as well as other thefts in Ferrisburgh, Addison and Panton.
Merkel said Matthew Porcaro, 31, who was living in a Main Street apartment in Vergennes when he was arrested, but has a Rutland City permanent address, now faces 37 counts in several different citations from city police and state police. Authorities lodged him last week in the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.
When police took Porcaro into custody Merkel said there were multiple warrants for his arrest that led to seven citations for petit larceny; eight for buying, receiving, selling, possessing and concealing stolen property; and two for providing false information to police.
After his arrest on those charges, Merkel said a woman staying at the apartment with Porcaro alleged he had struck her after he asked her for money and she refused to give him any. City police then cited Porcaro for domestic assault.
After further investigation this week, Merkel said Porcaro was cited for an additional 18 counts related to the car break-ins around the city.
According to an Aug. 15 press release, Vermont State Police said a break in the case, which they and city police had worked on for several months, came when troopers were notified on Aug. 14 of the attempted theft of a vehicle from a Ferrisburgh home. According to the press release, “Video footage of the suspect was obtained, and was later identified as Matthew Porcaro, 31, of Vergennes.”
City police then confirmed where Porcaro was living, a warrant was obtained, and both city police and state troopers took him into custody.
In other action between Aug. 6 and 19, Vergennes police:
On Aug. 6:
•  Responded along with Vergennes Area Rescue Squad to a man who was unconscious, but breathing, on a Main Street sidewalk. Police said he had taken methadone and fallen asleep and was OK.
•  Helped state police search a car at the junction of South Middlebrook and Plank Roads on the Waltham-Ferrisburgh town line.
On Aug. 7:
•  Responded along with state police to an underage drinking party near the Ferrisburgh town beach; VSP issued several citations, according to city police.
•  Informed city workers of a water main break on Main Street.
•  Helped VSP deal with a suicidal woman on Greenbush Road in Ferrisburgh; VSP took her to Porter Hospital.
On Aug. 9:
•  Handled a fender-bender in the Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot.
•  Helped VSP at the city station by having the department Drug Recognition Expert evaluate the driver of a car involved in an Addison accident; the DRE determined the driver was impaired, police said.
On Aug. 10:
•  Cited Sybil Saunders, 44, of Vergennes for a criminal count of driving with a suspended license after stopping her vehicle on New Haven Road.
•  Dealt with a minor two-car accident on South Maple Street.
On Aug. 11:
•  Dealt with a minor two-car accident on South Water Street.
•  Along with VSP ran a driving under the influence checkpoint on Panton Road.
On Aug. 12 were told by a West Street man two of his chickens were missing, possibly due to a neighborhood dog.
On Aug. 13:
•  Heard from a woman that a man possibly violated a court order, a complaint police determined was unfounded.
•  Arrested Sarah Jo Lee, 37, of Rutland City on outstanding warrants out of a Rutland court; police lodged her at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility after being alerted by a Valley Vista employee that Lee had left the facility and planned to walk to Fair Haven.
On Aug. 14:
•  Responded to a report from Union Street that a dog had broken off its leash and bit a youth in the leg. Police said the dog had its shots and its owner agreed to pay for all necessary medical care.
•  Accepted a trailer plate found on the side of the road and tried to contact its owner.
•  Called the city animal control officer to corral a cat that was attacking a Maple Manor resident; the cat was taken to the Addison County Humane Society.
•  Told several people drinking behind Vergennes Union Elementary School to move along.
On Aug. 15:
•  Searched unsuccessfully for a man reported to be walking down Main Street yelling.
•  Handled a fender-bender in the Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot.
•  Twice dealt with a barking dog complaint on Walker Avenue.
•  Sent the department K-9 unit to help find a missing person in Ripton.
On Aug. 16 tried to contact a Hillside Drive resident on behalf of South Burlington police about an accident in that town.
On Aug. 17 ticketed a driver on West Main Street for driving with a civilly suspended license.
On Aug. 18 contacted the driver of a truck on Main Street that had been reported as being operated erratically; police determined there was no problem.
On Aug. 19:
•  Helped a motorist get into a locked vehicle in Waltham.
•  Helped VSP with a two-car accident in Addison.
•  Kept a child custody exchange calm on Hillside Drive at the father’s request.
•  Checked the welfare of a cyclist who said a car tried to strike him while its occupants cursed and gestured at him; police said he was OK.

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