Bristol police have arrested two people in connection with the theft of several packages from outside homes in Bristol.
It all started at about 7:30 p.m. Monday after officers received a complaint about a suspicious vehicle along Pine Street.
"When he pulled in that's when I got a good look at the plate," said Paul Aparo of Bristol, who watched a man grab a package off his neighbor's front steps. "He even had the tailgate down to cover up his marker plates."
When officers arrived, they said they found a white pickup truck with New York plates. That vehicle, police said, matched the description of a vehicle that was used in an earlier larceny in the city.
As police continued to investigate, they said they realized the truck was used in a number of thefts of packages that were left on residents' doorsteps.
The packages, police said, contained everything from clothing to children's toys and electronic gaming systems.
Police said in all, about $2,500 worth of stolen property was recovered.
Police arrested and charged 42-year-old Kevin Pinette and 36-year-old MaryAnn Lamper, both of Terryville, with third-degree larceny.
When Pinette was questioned by police, officers noticed the back seat was filled with packages and gifts. Pinette told police that he bought them all, but when the officer asked where, all he would say was here and there.
Pinette, who admitted to police to being addicted to heroin, also said his truck was at an auto repair shop all day. However, an employee told police Pinette asked about getting a dent fixed, but left within a few minutes.
Lamper, who said she is Pinette's fiancee, was released on a promise to appear. Pinette was arraigned in Bristol Superior Court on Tuesday.
Pinette, who has five children, has been arrested and convicted 22 times on larceny, drug and assault charges. He has five cases pending and is out of probation.
"He's likely to offend again in the future given his history with drugs," said the prosecutor. "He's a career criminal."
Lamper talked with the media outside of court and she said that she did not know what Pinette was doing, even though she was in the truck at the time of the arrest.
"I hope all the families that have lost things will be safely returned for the holidays," Lamper said.
As for the gifts, they have been taken by police as evidence and it is unclear when they will be returned.
Neighbors were upset about the thefts.
"They are not grinches," Aparo said. "They are just bad people."
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