Man arrested in VSP barracks break-in attempt, more charges

Justin Clouart

A Ludlow man faces arraignment today on a number of charges including burglary, possession of stolen property, obstruction of justice and unlawful mischief, according to Vermont State Police. Justin Clouart, whose residence is listed by police alternately as Ludlow and Putney, is accused in two separate incidents one of which included a break-in at the Westminster State Police barracks.

Police say that on Thursday, April 13, a trooper on I-91 near Brattleboro stopped to help with a stranded motor vehicle and became suspicious that the car might contain drugs. The car was seized and when a search warrant was granted four days later police found 10 bags of heroin. Police say that Clouart cut through the security fence at the Westminster State Police barracks, where the vehicle was impounded, in an attempt to retrieve the heroin before troopers could carry out the search.

Then on Tuesday, April 25, police investigated several burglaries in the Westminster and Putney areas, including the theft of a 2004 Dodge Dakota belonging to the Putney Sewer and Water Department. According to Putney Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard, town employees noticed the truck was missing and reported stolen yesterday.

The Putney truck was stopped and seized by a trooper and the resulting search turned up stolen property. Police say the vehicle was being driven by Clouart, who was then arrested and processed at the Westminster barracks and taken to Southern State Correctional Facility, where was ordered held without bail until his court appearance on April 26 at 12:30 p.m..

According to Stoddard, the truck was returned to the town.

Police say they are continuing to investigate these incidents. They ask that if anyone believes they are the victim of a crime that may be related to this case, to contact the Vermont State Police, Westminster barracks at 802-722-4600.



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