Search ends with arrests of parking meter thieves

by Dane Schlossberg | 11/21/06 6:00am

An investigation stemming from the theft of eight Hanover-area parking meters this summer concluded early Friday morning with the arrests of Derik Rogers, 35, and Josie Rogers, 30, who are a couple from Wilder, Vt.

The couple is accused of stealing approximately $3,000 in parking meters and lost coin revenues over a five-month period. They will likely face Class A Felony charges upon the conclusion of the investigation, Hanover Police said.

A search of the Rogers' residence by Hanover Police recovered several parking meters and implements believed to have been used to remove money from the parking meters.

The investigation, which initially encompassed only theft through actual displacement of meters, grew in scope last month after Hanover Parking agents noticed a sub-normal yield of coinage coming from town parking meters and began to suspect that someone was stealing coins from the meters.

Collections dropped initially from the meters on South Main Street, then from those in front of the Hopkins Center and lastly from those on North Main Street near the west entrance of Baker Library.

"During a pick up, the Parking Division weighs the coins before they go to the bank to get an idea of what the return would be," Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone said. "From this information agents had an idea of where the thefts were occurring."

The Hanover Police Department responded by setting up cameras and deploying officers in the vicinity of the Dartmouth Bookstore, where they believed some of the thefts had occurred.

Prior to Friday's arrest there had been no reports or sightings of suspicious activity by patrolling officers or the general public.

At approximately 2 a.m. on Friday, officers conducting covert surveillance were on hand to witness two suspects tampering with a parking meter.

"They didn't take long to open the meter," Giaccone said. "They would occasionally walk between the meter and the window [of the store] as if to appear casual."

According to Giaccone, the officers eventually ran toward the subjects, startling the couple before arresting them.

Giaccone said he knows well that many Dartmouth students and area residents have little sympathy for the Parking Division when situations like this arise.

"A lot of people think its fun to hate them -- They give a lot of tickets, but revenues from parking tickets help fund a number of things including the parking garage and the Advance Transit system Hanover enjoys," Giaccone said.