Tackled burglar convicted, sentenced 2-10 years
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | February 18,2014
BENNINGTON — A local woman, who police said was behind a string of burglaries last year that ended when one of her intended victims chased her from his home, tackled her and held her for police, was sentenced recently to serve at least two years in prison.
Nikki Lixx, 42, of Bennington, pleaded guilty in Bennington criminal court on Feb. 5 to two counts of burglary of an occupied home, two felony counts of grand larceny, a misdemeanor charge of possession of a narcotic and three misdemeanor counts of possession of stolen property.
Lixx had been facing an additional seven charges, which were further counts of burglary, grand larceny and possession of stolen property, but those charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Judge Nancy Corsones sentenced Lixx to an overall sentence of two to 10 years on all the charges to which Lixx pleaded guilty.
The burglaries with which Lixx was charged took place between March and May of 2013. A press release from the Bennington Police Department said the burglaries came to an end on May 3, 2013, thanks to an alert neighbor who found Lixx in his home around 1 a.m.
Bennington Police were already investigating the burglaries and had an officer, Sgt. Camillo Grande, on foot patrol in the area.
When the homeowner came across Lixx, she fled, but the homeowner called 911 and then chased her until he, with the help of other neighbors, tackled her. Neighborhood residents were able to hold her until Grande and other police arrived and took her into custody.
On Feb. 5, Bennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Robert Plunkett said the state was recommending a two- to 10-year sentence, which was also the recommendation of the Vermont Department of Corrections. Plunkett said the 10-year maximum reflected the number of burglaries and Lixx’s criminal record.
Lixx was charged as a habitual offender based on previous felony convictions for forgery in Oct. 2012 and unlawful trespass and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, both in June 2011.
The minimum of two years was recommended because Lixx was “something of a different burglar, to put it plainly,” Plunkett said. Lixx wasn’t taking items to sell to support a drug addiction or for profit, Plunkett said.
“She kept most of the property and most of the property was returned to the residents. She didn’t have a record of any sort until much later in life, and she has history somewhat different than the typical criminal,” he said.
Frederick Bragdon, the attorney who represented Lixx, said his client suffers from “mild mental illness” and had a history of significant substance abuse. But, like Plunkett, he said Lixx hadn’t stolen items to sell.
“Other than some loose change that was taken or some dollars, everything else — stuff that would easily be pawnable for someone who has a substance abuse issue — was just, for lack of better words, hoarded,” he said.
Bragdon also pointed out that there was no violence involved in the burglaries.
Lixx said she felt “really bad for what I’ve done and the people that I’ve hurt.”
The prosecution and defense have not reached an agreement on restitution. A hearing is expected to be scheduled.