Man faces felony burglary charges
BARRE — A Massachusetts man was held on $30,000 bail after denying charges he burglarized several homes in Berlin last year.
Richard A. Morrell, 41, of Middleton, Mass., pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to five counts of felony burglary, two counts of felony unlawful mischief and three counts of misdemeanor unlawful mischief. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 87˝ years in prison and a $17,500 fine.
According to the police affidavit, police responded to four burglary incidents in Berlin on May 23, 2012, and one on June 4, 2012. In all of the incidents, forced entry was made through the front or rear door.
Some of the items reportedly taken include around $14,600 in jewelry, $1,800 in camera equipment, and $300 in cash. Police say Morrell caused about $7,700 worth of damage breaking into the homes.
In the June 4 incident, police say the residence was equipped with security cameras and that a lone male was seen forcing his way into the home and leaving with property belonging to the home. Police say a still photo of the man was sent to multiple law enforcement agencies and media contacts in hopes of identifying him.
On June 13, Berlin police contacted their counterparts in Lebanon, N.H., because police in New Hampshire said they had executed a search warrant in conjunction with police in Massachusetts on a vehicle and residence in Newburyport, Mass. Some of the property recovered as a result of the search warrant was said to belong to the victims of the Berlin burglaries. On two occasions, police in Lebanon turned over property to police in Berlin.
Lebanon police also identified Morrell from the photo from the June burglary in Berlin. Police say the victims came to the police station to identify and reclaim their property.
Morrell has a lengthy criminal history including a felony escape conviction in 2001, two felony burglary convictions in 1993 and a misdemeanor conviction of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent in 1992.
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