James Moorcroft Pleads Not Guilty In Stolen Truck/tractor Caper
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that James Moorcroft, 49, of Brookfield, Vermont, pleaded not guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Burlington to charges that he possessed a number of vehicles and tractors which had crossed state lines after being stolen. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released Moorcroft on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.
On August 13, 2014, a federal grand jury in Rutland returned a seven count indictment accusing Moorcroft of possessing six trucks and two farm tractors which had been transported across state lines after being stolen. According to the indictment, between 2000 and 2012, Moorcroft orchestrated the thefts of eight trucks and tractors from locations in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Maine. The indictment charges that Moorcroft then transported the stolen equipment to a farm he lives on in Brookfield, where he used the vehicles. Moorcroft allegedly stripped the vehicle identification numbers off the stolen equipment, affixed replacement VINs and registered the vehicles in Vermont.
In February 2014, police in Connecticut examined one of the stolen vehicles at the home a relative of Moorcroft's and discovered that the public VIN did not match a confidential VIN hidden within the vehicle. At that point, authorities theorize, Moorcroft panicked and decided to dispose of the stolen equipment he had on his farm. In February and March 2014, authorities recovered all eight stolen trucks and tractors after they had been abandoned or moved to locations in Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.