A homeless man who police say checked himself into the hospital to detox has been accused of breaking into cars and using stolen credit cards to rack up nearly $2,500 in purchases.
Tyler C. Herd, 26, listed as transient, pleaded not guilty last week in Lamoille County Superior Court to 10 counts of credit card fraud, two counts of unlawful mischief and petit larceny.
On Aug. 15, a woman reported her purse had been stolen while she was at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and her bank card had been used at two stores in Cambridge.
Police determined the card had been used three times at the Cambridge Kinney Drugs for a total of $1,169.37. There was also a $98.38 purchase at Cambridge Village Market.
Police were able to use surveillance cameras to identify Herd, and discovered he’d been evicted from his last known address and “was hopping around from hotel to hotel.”
On Oct. 3, a woman told Vermont State Police her car had been broken into while it was parked the Grist Mill Covered Bridge in Jeffersonville and the family was off on a hike. They said one of their credit cards had been used at Sterling Market in Johnson.
A store employee told police a man charged $326.50 worth of merchandise — two $50 Applebee’s gift cards, two $100 Visa gift cards, a pumpkin, a birthday card and two Mountain Dews — to the card, which he said was his mother’s.
The woman reported an additional $279 worth of items stolen from the vehicle.
Three days later, Herd was located at the University of Vermont Medical Center, where police said he had checked himself into “for detox.” Police said some of those stolen items were located with him.
In between the reported break-in and finding Herd at the hospital, another car break-in was reported Oct. 4 at the Route 15 park and ride lot in Cambridge.
The car owner said she and her husband had gone for a walk on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail and came back to see the car’s passenger window smashed.
She said her purse, containing a passport, $100 in cash, keys to their RV and “irreplaceable photographs,” was taken. Her credit card was used three times at the Shaw’s grocery store in Stowe, for a total of $342.84, and once at the Stowe Maplefields for $16.26.
The victim also said the card was used to send a Western Union transfer for $445.50.
An attempt to use the card at the Von Bargen’s jewelry store in Stowe was declined.