Police surprise burglar inside bank at 3 a.m.

Same suspect broke into Woodstock businesses in 2014

WINDSOR, VT - An inept burglar tripped the silent alarm inside the Mascoma Bank just before 4 a.m. this morning and then a short time later, when officers arrived on the scene to investigate, he jumped through a window and tried to make a run for it down Main Street.

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    Timothy George, 23, of Windsor was returned to the Springfield jail this afternoon for lack of $10,000 bail after he entered innocent pleas to a felony count of burglary and to accompanying misdemeanor charges of unlawful trespass and unlawful mischief during a brief arraignment in the courthouse in downtown White River Junction.

Screens on the ground next to the bank (Windsor Police Photo)

    Windsor Police Sgt. Charles Rataj and Officer Trevor Dickerman responded to the alarm at 105 Main Street and upon their arrival immediately noticed that three window screens and part of a broken window were lying on the ground on the north side of the bank.

    Peering through an open window, the officers could hear a person running inside the bank followed by a loud crashing noise on the other side of the building, Windsor Police Chief William Sampson reported.

The tell-tale open bank window in the middle of the night (Windsor Police Photo)

    The officers took off running themselves, found where George had jumped through a window on the far side of the building, and spotted him running down the sidewalk in a dark hoodie with a blue mask covering his face, Chief Sampson recounted.  The two officers gave chase and apprehended George moments later without further incident.

    "This was excellent 'heads up' police work on the part of Officer Dickerman and Sgt. Rataj," the chief wrote, adding "This is the second early morning burglary in recent months where these two proactive officers were able to catch the suspects in the act of committing early morning burglaries to businesses in both Windsor and West Windsor."

    In an affidavit filed with the court, Windsor Police Detective Jennifer Frank said a review of security camera footage from inside the bank showed a figure in a hoodie with his face and hands covered poking around the tellers cages and wandering from room-to-room looking at things with a flashlight for about 20 minutes before police could be seen pulling up outside and the figure started running.

A burglar in a grey hoodie searches the teller's area (Windsor Police Photo)

    Back in 2014 George was initially charged with three felony counts of burglary for break-ins that occurred in the middle of the night that May at the Woodstock Rec Center, Woodstock Animal Care, and Woodstock’s Town Hall Theater.

    Woodstock Police said they got a break in those case months later when George’s former girlfriend, who at the time was a 17-year-old Woodstock resident, gave them a written confession detailing the couple’s exploits. The girl described using a crowbar to pry open a window Woodstock Animal Care, finding an unlocked door at the back of the Rec Center, and boosting George through an unlocked window on the town hall in order to gain entry. Once inside, the girl said, the couple took the contents of cash boxes ranging from $47 at the vets clear up to what she estimated was around $500 at the town hall. In addition to the money, iPads, a video camera, as well as popsicles and ice cream were taken from the buildings, the girl told police.

Timothy George in court in 2014 when he was charged with three burglaries in Woodstock

    Those charges were resolved in 2015 with a plea deal that saw George convicted of three misdemeanor counts of petty larceny and sentenced to a month in jail.

    Prior to that, George had been convicted of car thefts on three separate occasions when he was a teenager.

Vermont News can  be contacted at vermontnews802@gmail.com

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