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November 19. 2012 8:48PM

Trio charged with using Craigslist in Moultonborough tractor theft

MOULTONBOROUGH - Three men were arraigned in Ossipee District Court on Monday for allegedly stealing a tractor after posting the item on Craigslist as free for the taking. Police officials allege that the online web posting provided the men with an alibi.

Police arrested Adam Quinney, 20, of Weare; Daniel Chesley, 23, of Conway; and Allen Downs, 29, of Weare. They were charged with one count each of theft by unauthorized taking, a Class A felony; attempt to commit theft, a Class B felony; conspiracy to commit theft by unauthorized taking, a Class B felony, and criminal trespass, a violation. Quinney was also charged with transporting alcoholic beverages by a minor, a violation.

According to Sgt. Peter Beebe, the arrests resulted from an investigation launched last week into two separate thefts from the same storage area on Route 25. Police learned that the three men placed false ads on Craigslist, posting the tractor, and then a truck body, as free for the taking.

Shortly after the first item - the tractor - was listed on Craigslist it was stolen from the property, according to Beebe. According to police, the men returned to the storage area on Friday. However, by that time police had already set up surveillance of the property and caught Quinney, Chesley and Downs stealing the truck bed and other items from the property.

"What they did was post an ad for the tractor first on Craigslist, then they came and stole the tractor. They gave themselves an alibi so if police or someone else confronted them, they could say they were here for the 'free' tractor. Friday came, and they posted another ad for a free truck body," said Beebe.

He said some people who had seen the ad stopped by the property, but police informed them of the alleged scam and they were sent on their way. The tractor was recovered at a salvage yard in Tamworth where it had been sold for scrap.

All three men were arrested without incident at 12:45 p.m. and brought to the Moultonborough Police Department, then taken to the Carroll County Jail in Ossipee where they were held until arraignment on Monday afternoon.

Quinney was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail and ordered to return for a probable cause hearing on Dec. 12 at 9:30 a.m. Chesley and Downs were both held on $2,500 cash bail and returned to the county jail on Monday. Both are scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing on Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m., according to Moultonborough Police Department Prosecutor Sgt. Scott Fulton.

The Conway Police Department assisted in the investigation. Police indicated that the case is still under investigation and that additional charges are likely.

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