BARRE — A Williamstown man is accused of selling a rare saxophone that had been stolen from a home in Plainfield.

Raymond William McKinstry, 35, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court to felony counts of possession of stolen property and conspiracy to receive stolen property valued at over $900. If convicted, McKinstry faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He was released on conditions.

Trooper William Phelps, of the Vermont State Police, said in his affidavit a burglary was reported in Plainfield on Oct. 3. Phelps said he met with the homeowner who reported he came home to find his things had been rifled through and items were missing. The homeowner told Phelps the items missing included power tools, batteries and a rare saxophone.

Phelps said he later learned the homeowner had been searching for the saxophone online and found it on the online marketplace eBay. The homeowner told police he knew the saxophone up for sale was the one taken from his home because of certain damage and markings it had on it.

Phelps said an investigation showed the seller was from Graniteville. He said police contacted the seller and asked for the serial number, which the seller provided and matched the serial number of the stolen saxophone.

Phelps said the person selling the saxophone told police he had obtained it from Country Thrift Store and More in Barre. Police then went to the store and asked the store’s owners about how they got the saxophone and they reported McKinstry had sold it to them, according to court records.

Phelps said he spoke to McKinstry on Nov. 12 who reported he got the saxophone from Sean Stearns. He told Phelps he picked up Stearns and Stearns put a large amount of items in the back of his vehicle. McKinstry told Phelps they then went to Country Thrift Store and he sold the saxophone because Stearns didn’t have identification on him. Phelps said McKinstry told him he didn’t take any money from the sale and Stearns gave him $20 for the ride to the store.

Stearns was scheduled to be arraigned on multiple charges Thursday, including the Plainfield burglary. He failed to show up and an arrest warrant was issued with bail set at $2,500.

He is already facing several burglary charges for allegedly breaking into homes in the central Vermont area.

eric.blaisdell @timesargus.com

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