With the help of Essex and Milton police, Vermont State Police charged Brian Larocque, 25, with retail theft last week from a December incident at Georgia’s Maplefields store.
Separately, on January 7, Milton Detective Cpl. Paul Locke cited Larocque with four counts of credit card fraud as well as violating conditions of pre-trial release.
A Maplefields employee called police December 18 with video footage showing a man leaving with about seven packs of cigarettes – worth $70 total – just before midnight the prior night, Trooper Michael Mattuchio said.
The store is open 24 hours, but the clerk working that night had left the counter to help another customer. Managers were unaware of the theft until the next day when a shopper called to report witnessing Larocque taking the cigarettes, police said.
“Unfortunately, there’s not too much anybody can do if the store’s crowded,” Mattuchio said. “[The employee] was being a good attendant and helping somebody else; Laroque just saw the right time to act on his criminal activity.”
The trooper also commended the witness for calling the store.
Milton police Officer Charles Brown stopped at Maplefields the day after the incident, and a clerk asked for help identifying the suspect. Though he was off duty, Brown agreed to review the security tape and instantly recognized Larocque because Milton police dealt with Larocque before, he said.
They charged him with providing false information to law enforcement in September, a summary of which was included in the Milton Independent’s October 11 police report.
Brown contacted the investigating trooper with the man’s name and his last known address, he said. But because Larocque wasn’t there, the agencies couldn’t locate him until this month, Mattuchio said.
Essex police reached out to Mattuchio last week, after they charged Larocque and 27-year-old Essex resident Melissa Davio in connection with a January 5 burglary in that town.
A Milton resident who suspected Larocque made several unauthorized charges with his debit card approached Locke on Christmas Eve. Locke used security footage from three local ATMs to catch Larocque making $740 in fraudulent charges on the man’s card four times in December, the detective said.
Locke knew Larocque was due in court and asked a security officer to cite him there, he said.
Larocque violated his pre-trial release conditions by not providing the court with an up-to-date address, Locke said.
Larocque will appear in Chittenden County Superior Court to answer charges of accessory to grand larceny on Valentine’s Day and will appear in Franklin County District Court on February 25 to face the misdemeanor retail theft charge, according to police. He’s due in Chittenden County again on March 7 to face the four misdemeanor charges of fraud and violations of conditions.