Witnesses, coin-redemption machine receipt leads to alleged thief


PITTSFIELD — Witness statements, surveillance images and a receipt from a coin-redemption machine led to a man Dalton Police believe is responsible for a break-in and larceny from late April.

Theodore J. Stoupas, 25, is accused of stealing over $500 worth of coins from an East Street home on April 20.

One of the home's basement windows was found broken and the homeowner said about $525 worth of coins appeared to be missing, according to a report by Dalton Police Patrol Officer Matthew Mozzi.

Police were given a description of a suspicious man who was allegedly spotted about 2:35 p.m. around the house that was robbed.

He was described as a white male in his 20s with a long, black beard and wearing a hooded sweatshirt, jeans and riding a BMX-style bicycle.

Police were told the man entered the Dalton VFW after leaving the area of the home.

A bartender at the VFW told police they served a person matching the given description about the time he was seen entering the bar and could identify them from a photo array if asked to.

The bartender said the man provided a Florida license when he was asked for ID prior to being served.

Police then checked with staff at Market 32 on Hubbard Avenue, Pittsfield to see if anyone had recently made any large transactions at its coin redemption machine.

A receipt from April 20 about 4:02 p.m. showed a single transaction in which over 1,500 quarters and hundreds of other types of coins worth a total of $503.06 were redeemed.

Surveillance video showed a man with "a number of similar features," making that transaction.

On April 23, a witness told police that a person matching the description of the break-in suspect was in the area of Upper East Street riding a bicycle.

Police caught up with the male, identified as Stoupas, near the underpass on Route 8 in Hinsdale.

Stoupas used a Florida ID to identify himself to officers and had hand tattoos similar to those described by a witness in the investigation.

Stoupas denied being involved in the break-in, according to police.

The eyewitness who saw the alleged thief enter the house was not available at that time to make a positive identification, so police photographed him and collected his information before allowing him to leave.

That witness was contacted later that evening and identified Stoupas from a photo array as the suspect.

Stoupas was interviewed by Dalton Police on April 28 and again denied any involvement with the break-in but did say he went to Market 32 to cash in coins he'd been saving.

A warrant was issued and Stoupas was arrested Wednesday morning.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to charges of felony daytime breaking and entering and larceny from a building.

Judge William Rota set his bail at $500 and gave him a pretrial hearing date of June 10.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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