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Pair indicted for Littleton burglaries

November 05, 2009
LITTLETON—A Littleton woman and a man whose last known address was given as Groveton, were indicted on Oct. 16 in connection with some recent burglaries in Littleton.

Mellisa Belanger, 33, of Littleton, and 31 year-old Kevin Balch are charged in connection with the burglarizing of two Littleton homes.

Balch was charged with two felony counts of burglary, and Belanger was charged with one count of felony conspiracy to commit burglary, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit theft.

According to the affidavit, on the morning of June 3, Littleton resident Marcia Copeland was returning home and noticed Belanger's 1995 Jeep Cherokee parked behind Copeland's house on Point of View Drive. When the driver of the vehicle noticed Copeland, the driver backed up and sped away.

Copeland called Littleton Police, who responded to Copeland's home and found a back window of the house had been broken, and items had been stolen from the home. Copeland had managed to get the license plate number from the Jeep, and police were able to identify the vehicle as belonging to Belanger.

According to court documents, among the items stolen from Copeland's home included a flat-screen television, 50 DVDs, a laptop computer, jewelry, and prescription drugs.

The pair were arrested later that day after being spotted by Dalton Police Officer David Fleming, who was off duty at the time.

Fleming followed the pair, who were accompanied by 25 year-old Debra Bailey, and 34 year-old Shawn Chaplin, into Vermont and then contacted Vermont State Police, who stopped and impounded Belanger's Jeep, because Belanger would not allow them to search it.

According to police, Balch and Belanger were on their way to a Lunenburg pawn shop to pawn some of the stolen items. Court documents say that when the police stopped the Jeep, some of the stolen items were fully visible in the back of the vehicle.

At around the same time that Vermont State Police were stopping the Jeep, Leslie Walker and Clinton Brown, Copeland's next-door neighbors, were reporting a break-in of their home to Littleton Police.

Police records indicate that among the items taken from Brown and Walker's home were a flat-screen television, a gaming system with games, an antique chest, jewelry, DVDs, two laptop computers, and a chainsaw.

When the group was stopped in Vermont, Balch initially gave a false name, Kevin Leonard Graf, to police. He was quickly identified as a fugitive from justice, having violated his parole in 2007.

The items found in the jeep were confirmed to be among the items stolen earlier that day.

Belanger initially denied knowledge of the thefts, claiming that she thought she was just giving Balch a ride to a friend's house to retrieve a television.

She later confessed to police that she had a cocaine dependency, and was having financial difficulties that could result in her losing her apartment.

Belanger told police that Balch traded the antique chest and the chainsaw for cocaine, and that she and Balch, along with Chaplin and Bailey consumed the drug.

It was after this, the group decided to drive to the Lunenburg pawn shop, where Balch claimed to have sold stolen property before.

Balch had previously been a resident of the New Hampshire State Prison system for felony use of firearms, theft by deception, and issuing bad checks.

Upon his arrest in June, Balch was transferred from Northeast Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury, to the state prison at Concord.

During the spring, Littleton Police were kept busy with burglaries in homes in the Partridge Lake area, Point of View Drive, Mt. Eustis, Farr Hill, Hilltop, Slate Ledge, and Mann's Hill Roads.

A rash of burglaries were also reported at that time in Dalton, Carroll, and Lancaster.

According to Littleton Police Chief Paul Smith, the burglaries stopped following the arrests of Balch and Belanger.

The pair are scheduled to be arraigned in Grafton Superior Court on Nov. 16.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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