Man Admits Burglarizing Home While Owners Slept

NEWPORT CITY – Judge Robert Bent handed down a two-to-five year sentence, all suspended with the exception of six months, to a West Charleston man for burglary of an occupied dwelling.Everardus Proper, 34, entered a guilty plea to the felony charge in Orleans County Court Wednesday, Feb. 29.On Aug. 21, 2011, Melissa Dobson of Barton told Trooper Debra Munson that sometime between 4 and 4:30 a.m. she was awakened by a man rummaging through her things in her bedroom. At the time she thought the man was her brother looking for her laptop and she went back to sleep. She did not confront the man so she could not identify him.Later on Dobson questioned her brother, Benjamin Hiscock, who said he saw a man in the house. Hiscock yelled to the man who dropped a pair of shorts and the wallet he was rummaging through and ran out the door to a waiting car. Dobson’s 16-year-old niece and her boyfriend also reported seeing a man running from the house after Hiscock yelled. Hiscock reported that $3 was missing from his wallet. A person staying at the house said his sneakers were missing. Dobson also said someone rummaged through drawers, cabinets, closets and the cars in the driveway. However, she didn’t notice anything was missing.Munson received another report of a home invasion and burglary from Michelle Gilcris on the Lake Willoughby Road in Barton. Gilcris said someone smashed the backdoor to her home and numerous items were missing. Audra Sicard reported that someone burglarized her home on the Cooks Road in Westmore. Court records state that Sicard’s husband, Andrew Sicard, saw a green or teal car drive slowly from the driveway of his parents' home on the Cooks Road in Barton to his neighbor’s residence across the street. The vehicle pulled into the driveway of the neighbor’s, backed out and then went back in again. A female got out of the vehicle and began peering in the windows of the neighbor’s residence.Andrew Sicard called his neighbors who were in New Hampshire and described the woman. The neighbors said they didn’t know the woman and Andrew Sicard went to confront her. The woman told Andrew Sicard that she was having car trouble and asked him to bring her to get gas. Instead, he and his brother took the woman’s money and went to the Evansville Trading Post to get her some gas. The Sicard brothers returned with the gas, the woman put it into her tank and left. An investigation revealed the license plate on the woman’s car belonged on a 2000 maroon Dodge Caravan owned by Nicole Merrill. Police discovered they had recently interacted with Merrill with regards to a reported fight with her boyfriend, identified in court records as Proper. Dobson and Hiscock in separate meetings with state police picked Proper in a lineup. The Sicard brothers identified Merrill as the woman they had helped. Munson and Trooper Christian Hunt met with Merrill and Proper in West Charleston. Merrill said she had heard about the burglaries in the area and someone had burglarized her home, however, she hadn't report it. Merrill said she had not driven her car since she was pulled over in St. Johnsbury a few weeks earlier. She admitted to driving the car after police told her two people saw her driving. Munson said Merrill’s behavior was nervous and Merrill said she was just trying to take care of her children. Munson said Merrill kept standing up and sitting down and walked around the room as she spoke to her. At the same time, Proper kept walking between the kitchen and living room.On Aug. 27, police conducted a search warrant at the West Charleston address, recovered several items and took Proper into custody. Merrill told police that numerous other items found at the residence did not belong to her or Proper. Merrill stated she didn’t take the stolen items, however, she said that Proper and her brother would go out and come back with different items. Merrill stated she knew they were stolen, but was afraid to say anything, because Proper was bi-polar and she didn’t know what he would do to her if she told the police what she knew about the stolen items.Merrill would not release the name of her brother nor any other information regarding the burglaries or stolen items.