LENOX -- Three teens face court dates in connection with the theft of a safe containing $2,209.99 from The Scoop, an ice-cream, candy and snack-shop emporium on Church Street in the heart of the downtown business district.
According to law enforcement sources, Seamus Ryan and Scott Carpenter, both 17, of Lenox, have received summonses for an appearance before a clerk-magistrate at Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington in October.
A third person, a juvenile and ex-employee who could not be identified because he is 16, will have his day in court this Wednesday.
The names of the teens were not released by police, but were confirmed by Police Chief Stephen O'Brien. He credited Officer Gary Lagarce, who discovered the break-in in the pre-dawn hours on July 19, with solving the case within 12 hours. "It was a good piece of work, he did a fine job," O'Brien said.
"Everything missing was recovered," the police chief added.
The counts the teens face are breaking and entering in the night with the intent to commit a felony and larceny from a building, also a felony, O'Brien said. All three have been fully cooperative, the chief said.
Lagarce discovered the break-in during a routine police patrol; he notified the store owner, Jenn Nacht, who described the location of the safe, whereupon the officer confirmed it had been stolen.
Nacht said at the time that the perpetrators came in through an unlocked window, opened both doors of the shop and removed the two-foot-square safe and its contents.
Her security system, including a video camera, is to be installed as soon as today.
Nacht said on Monday that "it was much more of a kids' prank than anything sinister. They got caught up in the moment, they apologized to me, they were very remorseful and scared to death about what's going to happen with the case."
Observing that it was more difficult for her to learn that they were young people she knew, rather than strangers passing through town, Nacht added: "I hope these kids have learned a lesson, and others who may think about doing something like this realize that one silly little prank can potentially wreck your life. I feel terrible for the families and hope for the best with the case."
Although the clerk-magistrate retains the ultimate discretion, in several similar instances within the Lenox jurisdiction, mandatory community service, 75 hours or more, has been ordered, with the cases continued without a finding for a year -- a type of informal probation. If one remains out of trouble for the year, the records are cleared as if the incident never happened.
Nacht said she has been "really pleased with the way Chief O'Brien and the entire department have handled this case -- they've been wonderful."
Noting that the teens would not be "getting off scot-free," she commented that "we're all just trying to support and build up our community instead of tearing it down."
To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 496-6247.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto.