Two charged with safe heist
Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
#1 Mar 26, 2011
Two charged with safe heist
By Hunter Amabile, hamabile@sentinelandenterprise .com
Posted: 03/26/2011 11:04:47 AM EDT
FITCHBURG -- A Fitchburg teenager and Leominster man are facing charges they stole a safe belonging to the teen's father that contained more than $250,000 worth of cash, rare coins and jewelry on March 16.
Bruce Altman, 18, of 104 Mechanic St. and Michael Cochran, 21, of 248 Main St., Leominster, both posted bail after being charged with stealing a safe belonging to Altman's father, Joseph Altman, 45, also of 104 Mechanic St.
The father, who owns Silent Partner's Consignment in Leominster, told police the safe contained two Roman coins, valued at $15,000; two American Eagle coins, valued at $15,000; $600 in silver certificates; $10,000 cash; and items of jewelry worth $100,000, according to a police report.
At about 8:30 p.m. on March 16 police received a call from a neighbor reported seeing a man in his 20s leaving 104 Mechanic St. in a sleeveless shirt while carrying something that looked like a safe, the witness told Officer Keith Bourne.
The witness saw a gold Chevrolet pickup pull up to the person carrying the safe. The man got in and the truck pulled away, the witness told police.
When police came up to the house they noticed a window had been smashed and the glass was lying on the outside of the home. The window led to the bedroom of Bruce Altman, according to Bourne's report.
Officers entered the house and noticed a bed had been moved in one bedroom and the main bedroom had jewelry strung about the floor.
While police were
investigating, James Morgan, who also lives at 104 Mechanic St., came home. Officer allowed Morgan to check the house, and he discovered that the safe was missing, according to Bourne's police report.
Morgan told police the suspect fit the description of Altman's son and the truck matched the description of the vehicle of one of the son's friends, Randel Vanvleck, 21, of Lancaster. Dispatch confirmed that Vanvleck owned a brown Chevy S-10 pickup, Bourne's police report said.
Joseph Altman returned to his house while officers were still investigating. He told officers he was picked up from his house at around 8 p.m. by friends, but had activated the alarm system before he left. The only people who knew the code to override the alarm are Altman, his son and Morgan, according to a police report written by Detective Christopher Ledoux.
Altman told police the safe had more than $250,000 of cash and coins in it. He also told police that his son had always been fascinated with the safe and claimed that one day it would be his, according to Bourne's report.
Altman's son arrived home at around 10 p.m. while police were still investigating the scene, police documents said. He was taken to the Fitchburg Police Station to be questioned.
Police checked phone calls made from Altman's cell phone and noted that he called Cochran at 8:21 p.m.
On March 17, Fitchburg Police knocked on Cochran's door at 248 Main St. in Leominster. Cochran answered after a second time, but did not want to talk to police, according to a report by Detective Dean Romano. A second man, who was later identified as Vanvleck, was also at the apartment, Ledoux wrote.
Later that day, Fitchburg detectives went to check in on a report that a Chevy S-10 pickup had been seen at the house of Robert Vanvleck Sr., Vanvleck's father, at 2349 Lunenburg Road in Lancaster.
#2 Mar 26, 2011
Upon arrival, detectives saw Cochran and Vanvleck. While detectives took photos of his car, Vanvleck told them he had picked up Cochran and Altman on March 16 in Leominster. The two wanted to borrow Vanvleck's car, so he drove them to Altman's house, got picked up by a friend and let them borrow his car. Vanvleck denied any role, and showed detectives a receipt from a Verizon store with a time stamp of 8:27 p.m. on March 16, police said.
On March 17, about a half mile down the road from Vanvleck's father's house, a fisherman found Altman's safe, which had been pried open, at the base of the boat ramp at Fort Pond in Lancaster, Ledoux wrote.
On Monday, the elder Altman left a message on Ledoux's voicemail that some of the items that were in the safe had been returned.
"Altman states he did not inform me sooner, as he was hoping that all the items would be returned, and he did not wish to spook anyone," Ledoux wrote in his report.
On Tuesday, Vanvleck met with Fitchburg detectives. Vanvleck told police that on the night of the robbery he met up with Cochran and Altman.
He told police he had been receiving threatening messages from Cochran, who had also pulled out a .22-caliber pistol and threatened to kill him if he didn't sell some jewelry Cochran and Altman had stolen, Ledoux wrote.
Vanvleck told police he sold a man's diamond 18-karat gold wedding ring to a Clinton man for $100. The ring has a value of $30,000, according to Joseph Altman.
On Wednesday, warrants were issued for the arrest of Bruce Altman and Cochran.
That same day Vanvleck called police to report he had found the gun he said Cochran had pointed at him in the back of his pickup. The gun, a .22-caliber Derringer pistol, was turned in to police with two live rounds, according to Romano's report.
On Thursday, Altman was arraigned on charges of breaking and entering at nighttime for a felony, larceny over $250 and breaking into a depository.
He was released on $500 bail with the instructions that he be home from 8 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.
Cochran was arraigned on charges of breaking and entering at nighttime for a felony, larceny over $250, breaking into a depository, assault in a dwelling and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Cochran was released on $1,500 bail and was instructed to stay away from Vanvleck, who has not been charged.
Fitchburg police Sgt. Glenn Fossa said he spoke with detectives on Friday and the case remains under investigation.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_17706...
#3 Mar 26, 2011
Spin Lynch, spin.
What heads of local unions have you met with? What groups will be endorsing your candidacy?
#4 Mar 26, 2011
They sold the ring for $100 ? A $30,000 ring ? Did they retrieve the ring? Was there insurance?
Those names sound familiar? Is this the same family that owned the consignment shop on Main st. Fitchburg?
Can someone ask the "pillar" of the community if the same family owned the consignment in Fitchburg?
#5 Mar 26, 2011
yes, same family
#6 Mar 26, 2011
Lynch how many names do you use?????????? trying to hide are you LOSer
#7 Sep 2, 2011
anyone know what happen to this loser in court?
#8 Sep 2, 2011
The value of the 18k ring is $30,000? That must be one big freakin ring.
#9 Sep 2, 2011
he cant hide that
#10 Sep 2, 2011
He is trying real hard to bury all the posts that are showing his family trash. Kev, did your boyfriend D really get busted for turning tricks in Springfield?
#11 Sep 3, 2011
and when he got arrested, he gave his brother's name. But it all got straightned out in court.
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