Police say a 33-year-old Burlington man traveled around on a bicycle, stealing packages from residents’ porches and using an 11-year-old child as an “unwitting” accomplice.
Jackie Walters was arrested early Tuesday morning allegedly handing a stolen package to the child, who was sitting in the cargo trailer the suspect was towing with his bike.
Burlington Police did not say how many thefts Walters is accused of, but said they were all at committed in the middle of the night.
Walters has been charged with three counts of larceny and child endangerment. Police say he has been arrested 15 times for larceny and related crimes, and has seven misdemeanor convictions.
The 11-year-old is in the custody of the Vermont Department of Children and Families.
“The idea of a child his age riding through the city in the back of a trailer in the middle of the night so he can be an accomplice in a series of alleged thefts is heartbreaking and completely unacceptable,” said Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo. “This is not the way a child’s sense of innocence about the holidays should be lost.”