NORTH ADAMS -- A Stamford, Vt, man was sentenced to 16 months in jail on Tuesday for the larceny of more than a dozen batteries and catalytic converters from parked cars around the city.

Timothy Houghtaling, 32, of East Road, pried open the hoods of almost a dozen cars behind parked Cariddi Mill last June, according to police. On another occasion, earlier in the year, Houghtaling stole tools and a go-kart from a Stamford cabin that he attempted to sell on Facebook.

He also cut out the catalytic converters of several cars in North Adams, according to the city's Police Department, and falsely reported his vehicle stolen.

Houghtaling admitted to sufficient facts against him in Northern Berkshire District Court on Tuesday, and was found guilty of more than 10 counts each of breaking and entering a vehicle, malicious destruction of property, and larceny.

Houghtaling's attorney, Edmund St. John III, had sought a one-year direct sentence with another year suspended, but the court settled on 16 months.

An investigation by the North Adams Police Department was launched in July after several car batteries were reported missing behind Cariddi Mill. A local scrap yard employee tipped off detectives later that day that Houghtaling could be involved, and described the suspect's Ford pick-up truck, according to the criminal complaint filed by Detective John LeClair.


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The truck was found unoccupied on Jackson Street, containing several car batteries in plain view.

Later that day, Houghtaling came into the police station and reported his vehicle stolen, according to the report. During an interview with Houghtaling, he said it had been stolen overnight, but detectives noted his knees and hands were dirty with grease.

Police found receipts from the night of the theft in Houghtaling's truck, and asked store managers for surveillance video. Though Houghtaling could not be seen, they spotted Tory Blanchard in the truck, who, when interviewed, told police she was with Houghtaling. Blanchard was sentenced to seven months in jail earlier this month for her role in several larcenies with Houghtaling.

To reach Adam Shanks:

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