HARDWICK — Four central Vermont men have been cited by police for their alleged roles in numerous crimes in Hardwick over the past year.
Police say Randall Sayers, 18, of Woodbury, Hezekiah McCullough, 18, of Hardwick, and Jacob Williams, 19, of Hardwick have been cited for petit larceny and burglary in connection with the July 5 burglary of Buffalo Mountain Wood Storage and Transfer, a Hardwick log yard.
Ken Davis, of Hardwick, the owner of the log yard, said the burglars broke in and stole around $100 in cash as well as loose change from an office.
Sayers, McCullough, and Riley Reagan, 18, of Eden, were also cited for arson, burglary and petit larceny for their roles in a fire at the log yard on July 29.
Davis said the fire caused $150,000 in damage. He has just been given permission by his insurance company to demolish the office building, which was insured for $90,000, and is in the process of looking to replace the office with a modular building instead of the rental trailer the company is currently using.
Besides the building itself, Davis said the fire destroyed several thousand dollars worth of office equipment as well as computer equipment needed for the company’s truck scales. The fire also caused $7,500 in damage to a skid steer loader that was housed in an adjacent garage.
Davis said he was very glad the police did a thorough job in identifying the people responsible, whom he described as random kids with no relationship to the business.
“I’m glad (the police) got a hold of them before I did,” he said jokingly.
Davis said while he will sleep more easily knowing those responsible have been cited, he added that the incidents were just a bump in the road and did not have a dramatic impact on his business.
Sayers, McCullough and Williams were also cited for a burglary at Connie’s Kitchen in Hardwick on June 24. On top of the other charges, Sayers was additionally cited for the burglary of another Hardwick business on January 14. Police say several more arrests are expected in connection with the January burglary.
Hardwick Police Chief Andrew Cochran said food and money were taken from Connie’s Kitchen and a knife and some food were taken in the January theft. While he couldn’t give complete details of exactly what was taken, Cochran said that information will be available when the men are arraigned in Caledonia County criminal court on October 28.
Cochran said the department had been receiving tips throughout the summer during its investigation, which included speaking with unidentified informants. He said the cases have been in the making for a few months, and commended his officers for putting in the time and effort to solve the crimes.
“It’s good for the community to be able to rest a little easier at night not having to worry,” Cochran said. “It’s good for the business community that they were caught and could be brought to justice.”
Cochran said he’s hopeful the arrests will end the rash of the burglaries experienced in the area during the past year.
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