Pittsfield man allegedly stole from grandparents to pay off drug debt

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PITTSFIELD — A city man is facing charges for allegedly stealing three shotguns, a rifle and other items from his grandparents to help pay off a drug debt.

Calvin L. Murphy, 26, of Sampson Parkway, said he owed a drug dealer named, "B" money for 1.5 pounds of marijuana he'd received but had yet to pay for, according to a report filed by Pittsfield Police Patrol Officer David K. Hallas.

Murphy told a family member he feared he'd be killed if he did not settle up with the dealer, the report said. During a police interview, Murphy allegedly told investigators he does not know where the weapons are now.

Police were notified Monday that firearms and other items had apparently been stolen from a Sampson Parkway residence.

The homeowners told police they'd recently returned from Florida and found the weapons, a television, a set of hedge clippers and silver flatware had been stolen.

The homeowners told police they believed their grandson, Murphy, was responsible for the thefts.

They told police Murphy had a key to the house so he could do laundry.

Police met with Murphy at the motel in which he was staying and when asked if he had any idea why they were there, he allegedly answered, "It's probably about the firearms."

Murphy allegedly told police that "B" had come to collect the debt he was owed and, because he didn't have any cash, offered to settle up with items from the home.

Murphy said "B" cut the lock off of the locker where the guns were stored, using a grinding tool found in the basement.

Police doubted Murphy's version of events, noting there was no forced entry into the locker and instead believe he opened the locker with a hidden key, the location of which was known to him.

The locker contained three shotguns, a .22 caliber rifle and a black powder muzzle-loading rifle, the report said.

The muzzle-loading rifle is not considered a firearm, according to the report and its alleged theft is included as part of a charge of larceny from a building.

"B" also took possession of a television, a set of hedge clippers and antique silverware, police said.

Police said even if Murphy's version were true, he still admitted to giving the stolen items to, "B" as payment for the outstanding debt.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to four counts each of larceny of a firearm and possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card and one count of larceny from a building.

Judge William Rota set Murphy's bail at $1,000 and gave him a pretrial hearing date of May 11.

If he posts bail, Murphy must have no contact and stay away from his grandparents.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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