Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Baliff sold stolen wreaths at courthouse

Stolen greenery was sold in county courthouse

New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009


MANCHESTER – A Hillsborough County bailiff unwittingly fenced stolen goods last week when he sold Christmas wreaths for $10 apiece in the lobby of the Superior Courthouse.

Sheriff James Hardy confirmed yesterday his office and Mark Putney, investigator with the County Attorney's Office, are looking into the incident.

Hardy said a woman in her 70s came to the courthouse last week with the wreaths and asked a bailiff she knew if they could be sold in the courthouse. She said she made the wreaths at home, according to Hardy.

The wreaths -- still bearing price tags from Jacques Flower Shop of Goffstown -- were sold out of the lobby for $10 each and were purchased by workers in the courthouse. Seven courthouse employees bought the wreaths.

Jacques Flower Shop Manager Paul Godbout said the investigation was triggered after a sheriff's department employee noticed his store's price tags on the wreaths and brought it to Putney's attention.

Hardy said the incident is still being investigated but it appears the bailiff was trying to help the elderly woman, who Hardy said has a mental competency issue. Selling items in the courthouse is inappropriate, he said.

Paul Godbout, manager of Jacques Flower Shop in Pinardville, shows off some the approximately 36 wreaths stolen from his outdoor display. (BOB LAPREE)

"Clearly, it was poor judgment on the part of the court officer," said Hardy, who refused to identify the bailiff, saying it was a personnel matter.

The wreaths have since been returned, Hardy said. No judge was among the purchasers, according to the sheriff.

Goffstown Police Chief Patrick Sullivan said his department is investigating, but as of yesterday morning, no one has been arrested.

Godbout said more than $1,500 worth of Van Otis chocolates has disappeared from the shop's front counter over the past six months, as well as individual candy bars his daughter was selling for a school fundraiser.

Putney, he said, told him the woman also gave candy to employees in the sheriff's department.

On Tuesday, Chief Deputy Art Durette sent out a memo to the staff, a copy of which was obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader, telling them they are not to accept any gift or gratuity, either directly or indirectly.

"Being the holiday season, it is common for people to be in a giving spirit. However, being public employees, we are held to a very high standard. That being said, everyone must comply with our rules and regulations including RR2 VII..." he wrote.

The rule bars the acceptance of any gift, gratuity or reward.

On Monday, Godbout said a manager of a Dunkin' Donuts told him the woman suspected of taking the wreaths was at a Dunkin' Donuts wearing a Santa hat and handing out Van Otis candy.

Godbout said the balsam wreaths were stolen from outside displays at his South Mast Road shop and priced from $29.95 to $39.95 each.

In addition to the price tags, the bows, ornaments, pine cones and signs attached to the wreaths bore Jacques Flower Shop labels, he said.

The bailiff, he said, should have known the items were stolen since they were clearly marked. When they were returned to him, Godbout said they still had the price tags on them.

One of the returned wreaths had a wooden sign that said, "I've been good this year, Santa."

Godbout said the woman suspected of the thefts was a regular customer until he caught her allegedly shoplifting a vase.

When he confronted her, she told him she never stole anything in her life and that she was going to pay for the vase, which he said was in her oversized bag.

She told him she went to Mass every day and her sister was a nun.

"Maybe your sister can pray for you," Godbout said he told her.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe