3 held in snowmobile larceny caper

Sled returned after tip leads to arrests

Three local men face felony charges after they were found in possession of a snowmobile that disappeared from Hartford, police said.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrests of Frisco S. Rousseau, 19, and Ian C. Safford, 17, of Argyle and Michael M. Dewey, 19, of Granville on Jan. 20.

Rousseau was charged with felony fourth-degree possession of stolen property while Dewey and Safford were each charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny because a 1998 Ski-Doo MXZ was taken from the side of Shine Hill Road in Hartford. Police said the snowmobile was valued at approximately $1,800.

Deputy Donald Jett said the trio worked together to take the snowmobile from where it was chained next to the road and advertised for sale.

The trio allegedly picked the snowmobile because it had a motor that could replace the one on a snowmobile owned by Rousseau, which had stopped working. “They were looking for another motor and they found one,” Jett said.

They planned to sell the other parts of the snowmobile, he said.

Dewey dropped off Safford and Rousseau who cut the chain and lock set up and moved the snowmobile to another location to wait for pickup, police said.

Jett said a tip led police to a garage belonging to Rousseau and the snowmobile was eventually found in the woods on that property.

Tipped off to police arrival, Jett said, the group had tried to hide the partially disassembled snowmobile in the woods.

“I’m just glad we were able to get it back for the owner and make an arrest,” Jett said. Some damage was done to the snowmobile during the course of the theft and disassembly, but police said it was not clear if the result would be additional charges or restitution ordered to the victim. 

Rousseau was arraigned in front of Fort Edward Town Justice Joseph Malvuccio and sent to the Washington County Jail for lack of $2,000 cash or $5,000 bail bond.

Safford was arraigned in front of Hartford Town Justice Sharon Schofield and sent to jail for lack of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bail bond.

Jett declined to say specifically why Safford faced a considerably higher bail amount than his fellow suspects. “There is a reason for (the higher bail) but I can’t disclose that,” Jett said. Jett did say the investigation into this case was complete and it did not appear the trio were a part of any larger operation.

Dewey was issued an appearance ticket and released, police said.

Jett and Sheriff’s Deputy William Holcomb were the arresting officers in the case.

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