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3 Charged in Connection With Norwich Burglaries

White River Junction — Three Upper Valley residents are facing charges in connection with burglaries of several homes in Norwich.

Benjamin Kendall, 24, of Vershire has been charged with three felony counts of burglary and one misdemeanor count of petit larceny. Kendall pleaded not guilty to all four charges at his Feb. 26 arraignment in Windsor Superior Court. Kendall’s bail was set at $2,500, and he has been released.

Sarah Balch, 21, of Lyme, has also pleaded not guilty to a felony count of selling stolen property worth more than $900. Balch was arraigned in Windsor Superior Court last month, and was released with no bail being set.

Jeffrey Emerson, 23, of West Fairlee, has also been cited with multiple counts of burglary, Norwich Police Chief Doug Robinson said, but Emerson’s arraignment will not be held until April 1. Emerson could not be reached for comment Monday.

Kendall is charged with burglaries on Loveland Road, Douglas Road, Turnpike Road and Simpson Road. Residents reported that mostly jewelry, silverware, silver, cash and coins were stolen, and many items were sold to various pawn shops.

At one home, silverware, silver antiques, a large jewelry box and a $20 bill were stolen, but two laptop computers were left untouched. In two of the burglaries, officers gathered that the incidents occurred in the afternoon, and whoever broke in pried open the back doors.

According to a police affidavit, Emerson agreed to meet with police and took officers to several different homes, including one on Douglas and Lower Loveland roads. He told police that Kendall assisted in the burglaries, the affidavit said.

Officers visited Pleasant View Motel in White River Junction, where the owner, John Johnson, also runs a small pawn shop. Johnson told officers that Balch had sold gold rings and two gold watches to him which she told him came from her grandmother.

Officers met with Balch at the Norwich Police Station in December, and she told officers that she did pawn jewelry that she received from Emerson and Kendall, but she said she didn’t know it was stolen, according to a police affidavit . She told police that she gave the proceeds to the two men.

Balch agreed to come back to the department at a later date to provide a written statement, but she never returned, authorities said.