Observer staff report
After a month long investigation, Williston Police arrested David A. Berard, 29, of Winooski, on Feb. 18, charging him with three counts of residential burglary. Police said Berard admitted to using heroin, and the thefts were done to support his drug habit.
Police began the investigation after a Chelsea Place homeowner reported that electronics were stolen from his home on Jan. 25. The same house was burglarized two more times, on Feb. 15 and Feb. 17. According to Officer Joshua Moore, Berard stole a total of approximately $10,000 worth of electronics from the home. He had previously done construction work for the homeowner, as well as other Chelsea Place homeowners, Moore said.
On Feb. 15, the homeowner’s wife and children were at home in the basement around noon, when she heard noise upstairs and thought it was her husband. As she walked upstairs, she could see unfamiliar boots visible under the closed basement door. “She grabbed the kids and fled next door,” Moore told the Observer.
Berard managed to steal an iPad during the incident, which was sold to Phone Depot, Moore said. Moore was able to retrieve the iPad and return it to the owners, along with one other item. A total of 51 items were stolen, he said. The remaining 49 items were sold to a kiosk at the University Mall and are not retrievable, Moore said.
After the Feb. 15 incident, the homeowners installed a camera near the front door. Berard attempted another burglary on Feb. 17, Moore said, but couldn’t gain access to the home – the attempt was all caught on camera. Police reviewed the footage and recognized Berard, who was subsequently arrested and taken to Chittenden County Correctional Facility. He was being held on $10,000 bail, according to Moore.
Moore said another arrest in the case is pending.