GREAT BARRINGTON — Five men who, police say, stole chainsaws and a leaf blower from a local landscaper's truck to feed their heroin habit were arrested last week and one was arraigned in Southern Berkshire District Court Monday.
The other four will be arraigned later this week.
Daryl VanDeusen, Michael Thorpe and Shawn Keefner were charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny over $250; Jeremy McDermott was charged with receiving stolen property, which police say they found in his vehicle.
Jeremy Babcock was charged with possession of a Class A substance. Police said that during the course of their investigation, they found Babcock and another of the suspects using heroin, and determined they had participated in the theft.
Thorpe was in Southern Berkshire District Court on Monday. He pleaded guilty, in a separate case, to larceny from a person over 65 and possession of a class B substance. He also pleaded to the charges he faced in this case. He was sentenced to 120 days in the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction,
The other men were held on bail pending arraignment.
Town Police Chief William Walsh said the landscaper called police on July 20 to report the items missing, and this began an investigation. Five chainsaws and the leaf blower were recovered. According to court documents, the landscaper is based in Housatonic.
Walsh said he was unable to elaborate, however, since town officials prefer the department's announcements to go through its public relations firm.
"These were significant arrests involving individuals who are known to police and who are active in drugs and are willing to steal from hard-working victims to finance their habits," Walsh said in a prepared statement. "We are working closely with the District Attorney's Office on the prosecution of these cases, and our officers did a great job bringing these cases forward."
Reach staff writer Heather Bellow at 413-329-6871