Police: $23,700 in stolen property found in man’s apartment
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | September 02,2013
BENNINGTON — A tip that came from a woman accused of petty theft led police to arrest a man and recover $23,700 worth of stolen property, including equipment stolen from the local cable access channel, on Aug. 22, according to Officer James Gulley of the Bennington Police Department.
George A. Mannoia, 36, was ordered held without bail Wednesday after being arraigned in Bennington criminal court on two felony counts of possession of stolen property worth more than $900.
Mannoia, who pleaded innocent, was charged as a habitual offender, a sentencing enhancement which can be used when the defendant has three or more felony convictions. In Mannoia’s case, the previous felony convictions, which took place between 2009 and 2012, involved selling heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
If convicted as a habitual offender, Mannoia could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
In an affidavit, Gulley said when he was processing a woman on July 26 for a misdemeanor charge of petty larceny, he asked her if she had any information about the theft of metals and power tools from a work site on Northside Drive.
On Aug. 19, a man who knows the woman contacted police to say he had information about stolen property. The man said that specifically he could help police recover equipment taken from the offices of Catamount Access Television, or CAT-TV, in July.
On July 17, CAT-TV employees found there had been a break-in at their building on Main Street. Items that included high-end video cameras, monitors and computers were taken.
Two days later, Joshua Mylott, 23, of Bennington, was arrested and accused of burglarizing not just the CAT-TV building but several other local businesses. Mylott has several felony charges pending in Bennington criminal court including nine counts of burglary, two counts of attempted burglary, two counts of possession of stolen property worth more than $900 and one count of possession of burglary tools.
Police recovered several items they believe were taken from CAT-TV when they arrested Mylott, but not the video cameras.
The man and woman told police that Mannoia kept stolen property in his North Branch Street apartment and traded stolen property for illegal drugs. The woman said he was even telling the people who would trade stolen items for drugs what to steal and said he had an unwritten list of “wanted” items.
Gulley said Judge Cortland Corsones granted him a “no-knock” warrant for Mannoia’s apartment Aug. 21 which police executed the next day around 8:30 a.m.
According to Gulley, police recovered a computer which was reported stolen from a local store, the Bennington Potters.
Gulley said Mannoia told Detective Sgt. David Rowland, also of the Bennington Police Department, that while he didn’t have a 47-inch flat screen television and the video cameras belonging to CAT-TV in his apartment, he could have them brought to his apartment if he was allowed to use the phone. Rowland allowed Mannoia to make two calls and the cameras and television were “anonymously delivered,” Gulley said.
Mannoia, who declined to give police a written statement, has a “lengthy criminal history” in Florida and Vermont, according to the affidavit.
Mannoia is currently being held in the Rutland jail.