Robbery suspect sentenced for earlier forgeries
BARRE — An East Barre man who was charged recently with robbing five convenience stores at knifepoint in the Rutland area has been sentenced for forging nearly $9,000 in checks stolen in central Vermont.
Patrick O. Blodgett, 26, was sentenced Wednesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to six months to three years in prison on three counts of misdemeanor false pretenses. Two counts of false pretenses, including one felony charge, were dismissed under a plea agreement.
According to the police affidavit, Blodgett stole blank checks from mailboxes and forged them in his name in April and May. Police say he tried to cash $8,788.96 in checks stolen from residents in Barre Town and Orange.
Blodgett’s sentence is set to run concurrently with a sentence he is already serving. On Jan. 27, he was sentenced in Chittenden County criminal court in Burlington to nine months to three years in prison on convictions of felony forgery, petit larceny and possession of stolen property.
According to the police affidavit for that case, Blodgett was caught at a bank in Williston in May trying to cash one of the checks he stole in central Vermont.
Blodgett could do more jail time, because on Jan. 23 he pleaded not guilty in Rutland County criminal court to five felony counts of assault and robbery. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 90 years in prison.
According to police, Blodgett and Arabella Babcock, 21, of Rutland, admitted they committed robberies in Rutland and Wallingford on Jan. 4, 5, 11, 19, 20 and 22.
Blodgett and Babcock, who police say acted as a getaway driver, were arrested in Rutland within minutes of the Jan. 22 robbery at Granger Street Market & Deli. Police credited the catch to a Rutland resident who told police he saw a silver Jeep Liberty parked near the store when it was robbed.
Twenty minutes after the robbery, police found a vehicle matching that description parked on Cottage Street with Blodgett and Babcock inside. The pair later told police they were parked there because they were using heroin they had just purchased, according to the affidavit. Police say the drugs were paid for with $117 they stole from the market.
In Rutland court, Assistant Attorney General Robert Menzel said the robberies were a “drug-fueled crime spree.”
Both Blodgett and Babcock were ordered held on $150,000 bail.
Police said at the time of their arraignment that they did not suspect Babcock or Blodgett in the recent rash of burglaries in the Barre area.
The recent string of charges aren’t Blodgett’s first brush with the law: He was the getaway driver for the highly publicized R&L Archery gun burglary in Barre in 2006. He was convicted in 2008 of felony accessory after the fact and petit larceny and given a four-year deferred sentence. He successfully completed probation for that sentence in 2012.
According to police, Blodgett, who was then 19, along with 17-year-old Leonard A. DiMuzio, picked up 16-year-old David Bailey in a truck after he broke into the shop and stole four guns.
Blodgett told police he and DiMuzio tried to remove the serial numbers from the guns with a file but then traded one of the weapons for an ounce of marijuana and another for a bag of sugar Blodgett thought was cocaine.
Blodgett also has previous convictions of retail theft and resisting arrest in 2011.
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