Former deputy denies charge
By Brent Curtis
Staff Writer | January 29,2014
A former sheriff’s deputy and school resource officer allegedly stole more than $1,000 from the Vermont Country Store to pay for Christmas gifts, according to records filed in Rutland criminal court.
Bonnie Kinley, 45, of Proctor, pleaded innocent to a felony charge of possessing stolen property during her arraignment on Monday. Kinley, previously known as Bonnie Elrick, appeared in court on a citation and remains free on conditions of release that include she not enter the lands or premises of Vermont Country Store.
Kinley, a former member of the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department and a one-time school-resource officer at Fair Haven Union High School, was arrested Nov. 30 by Vermont State Police troopers investigating a theft at Vermont Country Store in Weston.
She was arrested along with Linda J. Holzworth, 52, of Proctor, who also denied a felony possession of stolen property charge on Monday.
During an interview with state police investigators after her arrest, Holzworth said Kinley told her she stole from the store because she had a new job that didn’t pay well and too many other expenses to pay for Christmas.
However, Kinley said, it was Holzworth who told her after they left the store that she had stolen some items. Kinley said she drove back to the store to return the stolen items.
Holzworth also told police that when they returned to the store, Kinley pulled to the side of the road and set two bags of merchandise down on the side of the road near the store entrance.
She said Kinley then went into the store and returned two other bags containing items that included a pillow, shirts, slippers, foot cream and some food items. When they left the store, Holzworth said, they returned to the spot where they had left the bags outside and put them back in the truck.
The two women were stopped soon after by state police on Route 103 in Cuttingsville.
When asked about stolen items in the vehicle, Kinley allegedly told police that there had been a mistake and the items had been returned, according to court records.
When asked if she would not mind if police searched the truck she was driving, Kinley responded that “she did mind,” according to a police affidavit.
Eventually, police received permission to search the vehicle from Holzworth, who owns the vehicle. Police seized multiple canvas bags with the Vermont Country Store logo on them along with a blue comforter and three plastic boot trays.
The estimated value of the stolen merchandise is $1,045, police said. However, they said they are still calculating the value of a number of items that had no prices affixed to them, along with the value of the merchandise that was returned to the store.