Saturday August 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Police have filed charges against an 18-year-old city man in connection with the theft of three firearms from a West Housatonic Street gun store in January.

Shaquille K. Daniels of Hamlin Street pleaded not guilty to one count of breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit a felony, three counts of larceny of a firearm, and one count of carrying a firearm without a license in Central Berkshire District Court.

Police arrested Daniels on an outstanding warrant shortly before midnight on Aug. 3 after they responded to a report of suspicious activity at the Quality Inn on Cheshire Road.

The break-in at Avid Sports took place on Jan. 23. The court issued a warrant for Daniels’ arrest on Feb. 10, one week after law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant at his residence.

In the police report, authorities stated that they believed Daniels would not appear in court due to the seriousness of the charges.

Following his arraignment this week, District Court Judge Rita S. Koenigs set bail for Daniels at $5,000 cash, $50,000 surety bond. He is being held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.

This is the first time Daniels has been arrested as an adult, but he has an extensive juvenile record that includes 14 arraignments for a variety of charges, according to the police report. He turns 19 on Sept. 21.

Daniels is one of four suspects that police believe robbed Avid Sports on the night of Jan. 23, then apparently crashed a stolen car while fleeing the scene. The car was stolen about an hour before the incident took place.

Two shotguns and a rifle that were taken from Avid Sports were found buried in the snow off Route 41 where the apparent getaway vehicle was discovered crashed into a tree.

According to the police report, surveillance video from the store indicated that Daniels entered the store through a smashed window then acted as a lookout.

Information on the three other suspects could not be obtained as of presstime.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5.