Pittsfield man held for allegedly using credit cards he stole in auto break-in


PITTSFIELD -- He bought two packs of cigarettes, $40 worth of scratch tickets, and a construction tool valued at more than $400, among other items.

The two stolen credit cards were found in a "mostly eaten" bag of chips.

Benjamin M. Fielding, 25, of Delaware Avenue, of Pittsfield, has landed in jail after police said he went on a shopping spree with two credit cards that he allegedly stole after breaking into a parked car on Summer Street.

According to Assistant District Attorney Michael D'Angelo, a woman called police late Sunday morning to report that a purse containing two credit cards was stolen from her 2003 Volkswagen Passat after the passenger side window had been broken with a piece of blacktop. A witness reported seeing a man running down North Street with a purse in his hand.

A short time later, the woman called police again and said that one of her credit cards had been used to purchase $50.10 worth of items at a variety store on West Housatonic Street. Police were able to identify Fielding from a security video at the convenience store.

It was later determined that Fielding had used the second credit card to purchase a 16 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer valued at $403 from a local hardware store. Police arrested Fielding when they found him walking on North Street at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Police confiscated two packs of cigarettes, a bag of Sun Chips, a chocolate milk, a Vitamin Water, a Mountain Dew, a lighter and a candy bar from a bag that Fielding was carrying. He took police to the place where he had given the Finish Nailer to another person.

According to the police report, Fielding used the stolen credit cards at Jake's Variety, Carr Hardware, CVS on West Street, the Big Y Market on West Street, O'Connell's Convenience Plus, Sunoco Xtra Mart, and Sun Refining and Marketing. A charge attempt was rejected at Walmart. D'Angelo said that Fielding has admitted that he is a heroin addict, while his attorney, William Barry, said his client both needs and wants help.

Fielding pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to 11 charges associated with the theft of those credit cards, including two counts of larceny under $250, two counts of forged or uttering a forged credit card, two counts of receiving a stolen credit card, and four counts of credit card fraud under $250.

District Court Judge Fredric D. Rutberg revoked Fielding's right to bail on an open larceny charge that had been filed against the defendant less than a month ago.

Fielding will be held without the right to bail until March 18. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for April 25.

In his other case, Fielding is charged with larceny from a building for taking a video projector from the Crowne Plaza hotel on Jan. 31, according to police.


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