BARRE — A Calais man facing a host of charges is now accused of breaking into a Rock of Ages building in Barre Town, damaging a pump in the building while stealing copper and causing nearly $120,000 in damage, as well as being in possession of a stolen car in Shelburne.
Jason Braasch, 46, pleaded not guilty by video Monday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to felony counts of burglary and possession of stolen property and misdemeanor counts of possession of stolen property, vehicle operation without the owner’s consent, unlawful trespass, unlawful mischief, giving false information to law enforcement, driving with a suspended license and three misdemeanor counts of violating conditions of release. If convicted, Braasch faces a maximum sentence of 33 years and nine months in prison. He was ordered held at Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans on $5,000 bail.
Braasch now has 19 open criminal dockets, with four of them being felony cases and the rest misdemeanors.
For the burglary charge, Officer Leonardo de Prato, of the Barre Town police, said in his affidavit on Feb. 28 an officer observed fresh tire tracks entering the Rock of Ages property off Church Hill Road. The officer said the business’ road is private and gated from the public and the gate was closed at the time despite the fresh tracks.
He said police found a vehicle near a building on the property and located two men inside the building. The officer said one of the men was Braasch, but he initially gave police a false name. He said the other man, identified as Noah Lincoln, told police the pair were stealing copper.
He said he later learned from the company that the pair had damaged a large pump used as a backup to pump water out of the quarry. The officer said the damage was estimated at $118,600.
Lincoln, 31, of Colchester, pleaded not guilty on May 3 to a felony count of burglary and misdemeanor counts of unlawful trespass and unlawful mischief for his alleged role in the crime. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years and nine months in prison.
For the felony count of possession of stolen property Braasch faces, Officer Joseph A. Congdon, of the Burlington police, said in his affidavit on Jan. 6 he received a report stating a white 2017 Subaru Outback reported stolen in November had been located in Shelburne. Congdon said Braasch was found with the vehicle parked behind the Mobil gas station on Shelburne Road. The officer said police found the vehicle with three people moving items from the Outback to a trash bin. Congdon said two of the males quickly left the area, but Braasch stayed with the car.
He said Braasch told police he had been with the vehicle for about 10 days. Congdon said Braasch reported he got the vehicle through “a friend of a friend” and wouldn’t answer questions about who the friend was. The officer said Braasch reported he had personal items in the vehicle.