Vergennes Police Log: Man cited for embezzling from church

VERGENNES — Following a weeks-long investigation, Vergennes police on Sept. 9 cited a city resident for embezzlement of thousands of dollars from St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

Cited was Jesse S. Sawyer, 26, who police said at one point either worked for or with the church. They allege Sawyer stole a number of checks and fraudulently cashed a number of them, with the amount totaling $8,150. Police cited Sawyer into court and released him. 

In other activity between Sept. 5 and 18, Vergennes police also conducted eight patrols by cruiser and three on foot, 10 traffic stops, and a VIN inspection; responded to two false alarms and two 911 hang-up calls; and also:

On Sept. 5:

• Took a report that hundreds of dollars had been stolen from a car parked on Hillside Drive. Police said a man with a backpack on a bicycle had been seen near the area, but that there is no video footage available from the nearby apartment complex. The car owner said it was locked, but police said they found the back door open.

• Heard from a man that a School Street resident would not allow him to retrieve belongings from a home there. Police said it was a civil issue. 

• Heard from a Whiting resident that a city resident had not performed mechanical work on a truck despite having taken a dirt bike in payment. Police said it was a civil issue, but spoke to the mechanic.

On Sept. 6:

• Calmed an argument at a High Street residence.

• Dealt with a Main Street fender-bender.

• Calmed a dispute between Main Street tenants that included one alleging the other placed cameras to record her comings and goings.

On Sept. 7:

• Checked the welfare of a possibly suicidal individual on High Street, who the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad took to UVM Medical Center.

• Took a report that shoes had allegedly been stolen from a Battery Hill residence.

On Sept. 8:

• Worked, along with Age Well representatives, to mediate an ongoing family dispute on High Street.

• Checked the welfare of a High Street resident, who was found to be OK.

• Were told by a parent that her son had twice been involved in fights with another student at Vergennes Union High School. Police worked with school officials to develop a plan to resolve the issues.

On Sept. 10:

• Heard a report of possible gunfire along Macdonough Drive and patrolled the area. 

• Took a report that a pedestrian had nearly been struck in a Panton Road crosswalk. The pedestrian provided a plate number, and police said they were following up.

• Responded to a noise complaint in a Main Street apartment building and learned a child had woken up screaming from a nightmare.

On Sept. 11, were told of reckless driving nearly causing a collision at the intersection of West Main Street and Panton Road.

On Sept. 12, heard a complaint that a woman had been scammed of $5,000 over the internet. Police said she sent off that amount in gift cards after being told there was malware on her computer.

On Sept. 14:

• Passed on word to a Vergennes landlord from a Middlebury tenant that his building was flooding.

• Returned to its owner a debit card found on North Street and turned in to police.

• Looked into a report of an animal problem on Walker Avenue that proved to be unfounded.

On Sept. 15:

• Were told an individual with dementia was missing from a High Street home, but soon learned he had left with a caretaker.

• Learned a North Street resident had been defrauded of $1,600 over the internet by a woman pretending to be interested in him.

On Sept. 16:

• Took a report of reckless driving on East Street.

• Responded to a two-car crash on School Street serious enough that both vehicles required towing.

• Began investigating the theft of a portable fire pit from the outside of Kinney Drug Store. Police said they have a partial plate number caught on video to work with.

On Sept. 17:

• Heard a complaint about loose dogs on Ice House Court; they were collected before police arrived.

• Checked out a report of a suspicious woman at Champlain Farms; police determined although she had been there for a while she was expecting a ride to arrive. 

• Took a 911 call from a Walker Avenue residents concerned about raccoons.

On Sept. 18, responded to another Walker Avenue address, when an individual was having an anxiety attack and possibly feeling suicidal. VARS took the person to UVM Medical Center.

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