Mechanic accused of stealing inspection stickers
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | September 02,2014
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Vermont inspectors are working to track down some 30 vehicles whose owners obtained state inspection stickers from a mechanic who was allegedly stealing them from his employer in Springfield and selling them to people on the side.
“The stickers were sold blank and appear to have been placed on vehicles that could not pass a Vermont state inspection and (therefore) pose a great threat to motorists,” Detective Jeremy Desjardins of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles wrote in an affidavit filed with the court.
Benjamin Millay, 29, of Springfield, pleaded innocent last week to a single felony count of embezzlement, a charge which Desjardins said was selected because by taking the stickers out of the office and selling them, Millay had effectively deprived the Springfield Auto Mart of more than $1,000 worth of business it would normally have received for performing legitimate inspections.
Millay, who provided police with a written confession, was released on personal recognizance from the courthouse in White River Junction pending trial.
In his sworn statement, Millay wrote that he had been a state certified inspection mechanic for 10 years but had lost his job in recent weeks after it was discovered stickers were missing. “This was a huge mistake on my part and I will never make this mistake again,” Millay wrote, adding, “I am very sorry for what I have done.”
In his alleged confession, Millay described using new vehicle identification numbers from vehicles in the lot of the Springfield Auto Mart or, occasionally, the VIN numbers of cars belonging to his own family members to enter into the state’s official log book as having been inspected and then taking a blank sticker from a safe inside the business.
“I didn’t think of the outcome when I did it … the only thing I can do now is be as helpful as possible in finding the missing stickers,” Millay wrote, concluding, “I loved my job and I wish I could take it all back now and never have done it because I would still have a job and wouldn’t be facing other problems due to this that I won’t know (the extent of) until this investigation is finished.”