WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Springfield man accused of stealing over two dozen snowplow blades from the Springfield Department of Public Works and cashing them in for scrap metal appeared in court this week.
Carl Johns, 33, of Springfield pleaded innocent Monday to a felony charge of grand larceny and an accompanying misdemeanor charge of selling stolen property which together carry a maximum potential penalty of up to 11 years in prison if he were to be convicted.
Johns was released from the courthouse because he posted $2,500 bail following his arrest over the weekend.
DPW employees were on the lookout for suspicious activity this fall after a large number of pipe fittings were stolen from the nearby Water Department in September. In mid-October they spotted a maroon pickup truck near their garage late at night and photographed it, according to an affidavit filed with the court.
A couple of days later, the DPW discovered that 30 snowplow blades which had been set out behind their garage were gone but they managed to locate them across the river at an auto salvage yard in New Hampshire where the word “Springfield” was still clearly written on some of them in six-inch-high letters, police said.
Salvage yard workers cooperated with the investigation and identified the seller as Johns, whom they said was a regular participant in the scrap metal trade, according to police.
Several plow blades had already been sent to be melted down but the DPW was able to recover 23 of them, worth approximately $3,300.
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