Two guilty pleas in burglary ring case
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | March 09,2013
BRATTLEBORO — Two of the seven young men charged in a burglary ring that included dozens of break-ins and thefts in Windham County pleaded guilty Friday to reduced charges in separate plea agreements.
Christopher Goldschmidt, 19, of Athens and Travis Noyes, 21, of Saxtons River will both be sentenced at later hearings. In Noyes’ case, he faces a potential six-to-10-year sentence, with all of it suspended but one year in jail. Goldschmidt faces a contested sentencing hearing.
Goldschmidt, Noyes and their five co-defendants were charged in a variety of burglaries, 60 of which occurred in Vermont, 30 in New Hampshire, and the rest in Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia.
Police said the men were looking for cash, and also took minor items in the break-ins at diners, restaurants, retail stores and businesses.
Goldschmidt pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding in commission of a felony for burglaries at Pleasant Valley Brewing and Dish on Main, both in Saxtons River, and Emerson Small Engine in Rockingham.
Noyes pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, two counts of aiding in the commission of a felony, and two misdemeanor charges of violating his court-imposed curfew.
Police said Goldschmidt and Noyes were part of a group of Vermont and New Hampshire men who broke into dozens of businesses, most in the Westminster-Putney-Newfane area, looking for cash. The men targeted businesses without alarm systems, Vermont State Police said at a press conference last year when they announced the arrests.
In Noyes’ case, he pleaded guilty to breaking into Basketville, a store in downtown Putney, as well as the West River Veterinarian Clinic in Newfane. The burglaries took place in the fall and late summer of 2011.
Deputy State’s Attorney Steve Brown said Criscenzo Ruggiero, 21, of Westminster had pleaded guilty for his role in the burglaries and was serving a 12-month sentence.
Three more defendants — Logan Critchfield, 22, of Walpole, N.H.; Cody Loewe, 21, of Bellows Falls; and Dillon Lange, 21, of Alstead, N.H. — are still being held in a New Hampshire prison for similar crimes. Brown said his office was starting extradition proceedings against at least one of the defendants.
The seventh man, Lance Thomas of Rockingham, still has charges pending against him in Vermont, Brown said.
The prosecutor told Judge David Suntag that some of Noyes’ victims wanted to testify at his sentencing. The judge held off on accepting the plea agreement, which would place Noyes on four years of probation once he completed his jail sentence. Each of the four felonies that Noyes pleaded guilty to carried a potential 15-year sentence.
Goldschmidt’s sentencing will be contested, according to court records, and Suntag ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the Probation and Parole division of the state Department of Corrections.