2016’s Most fantastic crimes

Fake trees, firearms and fridge burglars

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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ST. ALBANS — The Franklin County Superior Court saw a strange cornucopia of criminal cases in 2016. The Messenger shared a number of the most incredible tales of local crime. Some were illustrative, pointing out an issue readers might not know existed in their backyard. Others were just unbelievable — but true.

Here are four of the most fantastic Franklin County crime cases of 2016.

“The house invasion that wasn’t”

St. Albans Bay resident Patrick Underwood, 46, called police at 2 a.m one June morning. Within 24 hours, he’d face multiple charges of aggravated domestic assault.

Underwood told police a group of people had “rummaged” through his house, and that after a while, he “got sick of it” and told the rummagers to leave, at which point they assaulted him.

Police arrived at Underwood’s home to find he’d suffered a head wound about an inch long. Underwood told police the rummagers “got so nervous” on seeing his head bleeding they cleaned up the blood themselves.

He reiterated to officers that after allowing the rummaging for some time, he “finally [expletive] snapped,” grabbed a knife and told the rummagers, “Game on! Let’s [expletive] go!”

He also told officers a large man had held him in a headlock for an hour while three women searched his home, ultimately taking only $800, directly from Underwood’s wallet.

The home didn’t show signs of a violent search, according to St. Albans Police Officer Jason Lawton’s affidavit. Dresser drawers appeared to have been gently placed on the floor.

To read the rest of this story, along with accounts of three more crimes involving a dispute between a journalist and a furniture store owner, more than 1,400 bags of heroin, and a maple syrup theft, pick up a copy of the weekend Messenger.