South Burlington Police say a load of specialty masonry stone, which was reported stolen from a city construction site last month, was later sold to and installed at an unsuspecting Shelburne business.
Jacob Streeter, 42, of Williston, has been ordered to appear in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington on Dec. 28 to face charges of grand larceny and sale of stolen property, South Burlington Police said.
City police responded to a call on Golf Course Road on Nov. 7 for a report of a theft from a construction site, according to Detective Chris Bataille and Officer Tanner Palermo.
A large quantity of natural stone material, valued at about $4,000, had been reported stolen from the site, police said. The stone involved, called “VT Dove Cove,” is unique in cut and colors and is produced locally in Vermont, police said.
Investigative leads caused police to check a Shelburne business. Police said investigation revealed the stones had been installed at Shelburne Sugarworks on Shelburne Hinesburg Road without the customer knowing they had been reported stolen.
Investigators determined they were installed by Streeter, who had been an employee at the construction site in South Burlington from which the stones had disappeared, Bataille said.
Steve Palmer of Shelburne Sugarworks told the Shelburne News he had received a recommendation for a stonemason who was unemployed and looking for work. Palmer said the stone material was added to columns at a sugarhouse. It was a few weeks later that Palmer said questions were raised about the source of the stone.
Palmer said he believed he had done due diligence in checking on the contractor, and that he thought he was doing something good by hiring someone between jobs.
Since the investigation, Palmer said he has been in touch with the original owner of the stone. In the meantime, Sugarworks is being allowed to keep the stone material because the stones are set in concrete and would be destroyed or damaged if efforts were made to remove them.