NEWPORT CITY – A North Troy man faces 15 years in prison, a $1,000 fine or both on charges of burglary and vandalism.
Isaiah Surdam, 28, entered not guilty pleas to a felony charge of burglary and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful mischief for causing damage greater than $250. Tuesday, Judge Dennis Pearson released Surdam with conditions.
On Jan. 30, 2012, Border Patrol Agent Donald Carmody told state police that someone had broken into a home on Bear Mountain Road in North Troy.
Police had been at the home on Dec. 7, 2011. At that time, someone broke a basement window and left the front door open. During a search of the home, Trooper Brian Connor saw a bookcase filled with movies and a large amount of copper tubing, PVC piping and lumber.
During the Jan. 30 incident, police found the front door open and a board, that had been on a window, on the floor. Trooper Brian Connor announced himself and proceeded to clear the residence. During the search, Connor saw that someone had forcefully removed copper piping from several areas of the basement.
Outside, Connor found two sets of footprints. One set went south toward Bear Mountain Road and the second went north through the woods.
One of the tracks had the shape of W and lead Border Patrol Agent Curran to a camper in the frontyard of a home on Bear Mountain Road. The door of the camper was partially opened and Curran could see a backpack partially covered with snow.
Connor told the homeowner he was investigating a possible burglary and that several footprints lead from the residence in question to her residence. The homeowner told Connor that everyone there at been home all evening. She said the only people home were her husband and grandson, who was identified in court records at Juvenile 1.
The juvenile told police he had been sleeping since 10 p.m. that evening. Connor saw a pair of wet sneakers by the door, which the juvenile said he owned. Police looked at the bottom of the sneakers and saw the tread pattern matched the footprints that Border Patrol Agents had followed.
The juvenile, when trying to explain why the tread matched the prints, said he knew a lot of people with the same sneakers. He also said he checked on things at the home for the owner. He said when he saw the Border Patrol vehicle, he panicked and ran into the woods.
The juvenile told police the second set of prints, which also lead north, belonged to his friend, 19-year-old David McLean, who had gone home. Connor questioned the juvenile about a set of tracks that went south. The juvenile then went upstairs and returned with McLean and the defendant, Surdam. The juvenile said he and McLean went north into the woods and Surdam went south across Bear Mountain Road.
State police, with consent of the homeowner, searched the home and outbuildings but didn’t find any stolen property.
The juvenile told Trooper Debra Munson that “we” went into the home, but only went as far as the living room. Surdam said he only stepped into the doorway. The juvenile also reportedly said that he and Surdam entered the home and went halfway down the hallway to check on things. McLean said he waited on the front while the juvenile and Surdam were in the building.
The homeowner told police that she didn’t give the juvenile, McLean or Surdam permission to be inside her home.
On April 17, 2012, McLean met with state police at the Derby Barracks where he said that he, the juvenile and Surdam entered the home approximately five times between December 2011 and January 2012. McLean told police that the juvenile broke a window out with a crowbar. He also said the three of them loaded his vehicle with stolen items that they brought to the juvenile's home. McLean said that at least one time the three loaded the trunk of the car with copper.
McLean said Surdam and the juvenile used bolt cutters to cut the copper out of the basement, which damaged the waterline; they unloaded the copper pipe and other stolen goods at the juvenile's home. McLean said the juvenile and Surdam took the copper pipe to a recycling center without him.
McLean said it was the juvenile's idea to go into the house and he just went along with it. McLean also said the juvenile stole some jewelry and sold it in Florida sometime in December 2011. McLean said Surdam stole some movies that were later sold. McLean also said that the three of them took numerous tools from the residence. McLean said he stole several video games he wanted to play, a guitar, two tents and several other miscellaneous items. McLean said the juvenile and Surdam went to the home a few times without him.
On Feb. 28, 2012, McLean pled not guilty to a felony charge of unlawful mischief.