While on patrol a bit after midnight on Tuesday, Officer Marc Morrill, of the Granville Village Police, noticed two sets of footprints.
The tracks led off of North Street and onto the Rail Trail, so he decided to investigate.
He encountered only one person, however, and 18-year-old Joseph Washburn, of Granville, said he was walking home and declined a ride. When Morrill saw that only one set of prints came out the Rail Trail at the other end, he realized someone had ducked into the woods when he came up.
When he swung back around he found two tracks leading off the trail and under a nearby porch, where he knew Washburn didn’t live, Morrill probed further.
It was then that he found Washburn and a 14-year-old acquaintance, who said they were trying to keep their laptop from getting wet.
Morrill told the younger boy, who was out after curfew and had been before, that he needed to come with him to the station.
“I noticed his pockets were extremely full — no one enters the car without being checked first,” he said.
It turned out the boy’s pockets were stuffed with “stacks and stacks” of lottery tickets.
“Not only was it odd for a person to have so many, but I wondered how he got them since he’s not old enough to buy them,” Morrill said. And upon checking Washburn’s bag, the officer discovered more lottery tickets and also many candy bars and several quarters.
As he knew Chapman’s store had a history of being broken into and neither of the suspects had the same story, Morrill brought them to the station.
He notified state police of what had transpired, and the younger of the two soon admitted the boys had broken into Granville Lanes bowling alley.
State troopers then took the youths into custody and charged Washburn with five counts of third-degree burglary and one count of second-degree burglary in the second degree. The juvenile offender was charged with one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, three counts of third-degree burglary and one count of possession of burglar tools.
Subsequent admissions by the youths at the state police barracks in Granville revealed that the pair was responsible for five commercial burglaries and one residential burglary which included Chapman’s Store on County Route 24, the bowling alley, and a farm building and residence along County Route 24 from early March to now, state police said.
Washburn was arraigned in Granville Town Court and remained to the Washington County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.
The juvenile was given an appearance ticket to appear in Family Court and released to the custody of his father.