Person shoots windows, breaks into Chelsea store on Monday

By FRANCES MIZE

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 11-21-2023 4:22 PM

CHELSEA — Two Chelsea businesses found bullet holes in their windows on Monday morning, according to Vermont State Police.

The initial investigation indicates that an unknown person fired three shots into Will’s Store and WRC Performance Products, located at the intersection of Route 110 and Maple Avenue, at about 1:45 a.m. on Monday. The person then entered Will’s Store through the front window and taken “miscellaneous items” including beer and packets of cigarettes. No one was injured.

Surveillance footage shows a person coming from the direction of the Chelsea Library, where troopers recovered a .22 short cartridge.

The video was captured on a pair of security cameras neighboring Will’s Store, said owner Will Gilman.

A break-in at Will’s a few years ago prompted Gilman, who has owned the general store since 1985, to rework security. After closing hours, “there’s really not much there for them to take,” he said.

Cartons of cigarettes, which can go for $100, are “put away safely overnight,” as is cash, Gilman said. He leaves the register drawer open “just so anyone can see that it’s empty,” he said.

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The bullet holes damaged a pane of plexiglass, put in place after a glass window was smashed in the previous break-in. Gilman’s glad there wasn’t vandalism beyond that, he said.

“To be honest, it doesn’t bother me much at all,” he said. “As long as no one got hurt, I don’t take it personal.”

Thirty years ago, he might have felt differently, he said. “But nowadays it’s so common in every little town around here,” Gilman said.

The VSP is seeking information about the incident and the person in the surveillance footage, which can be viewed online at tinyurl.com/3cs92v4p.

Information can be shared with Trooper Brian Jordan at the Royalton Barracks by calling 802-234-9933. Anonymous tips can be provided online at vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

Frances Mize is a Report for America corps member. She can be reached at fmize@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.