NORTH ADAMS -- A city man already indicted on a slew of burglary charges was arrested again Tuesday night by city police for allegedly trying to steal copper from a Church Street apartment complex.
Richard C. Jones III, 28, of Adams Street, is being held at Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $25,000 bail and $250,000 surety on charges of breaking and entering a building at night for a felony, malicious destruction of property over $250 and possession of a burglarious instrument.
On June 13, 2012, Jones was arraigned on more than a dozen burglary and a dozen larceny counts in Berkshire Superior Court for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of laptops from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams College dormitories, a local business and several homes. He was released on personal recognizance by Judge Mary Lou Rup.
Tuesday, police arrested a fleeing Jones after arriving at a burglary in progress at 116 Church St., according to police reports.
The burglary had been called in by building owner Franklin Perras, who noticed porch lights he’d left on were turned off and heard banging in the basement upon entry at roughly 6 p.m.
The suspect fled out the back door when officers Jonathan Beaudreau, Zachary Wood and Sgt. James Burdick arrived, prompting Wood to request backup from a Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit while Beaudreau gave chase.
Police say they were able to identify Jones as the perpetrator by sight and, setting up a perimeter on East Main and Pleasant streets, located him outside Arnold Place shortly after.
Copper piping was the burglar’s target. Bolt cutters, a hacksaw and thousands of dollars worth of damage to pipes were found in the basement of the apartment complex.
Police say Jones confessed to attempting to burglarize the complex in a later interview with North Adams Police detectives.
The four-story brick-and-wood building comprises four apartments and a common basement area. Perras said a rehabilitation of the building had just been completed and it was ready to accept tenants before the break-in.
Jones was arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on the most recent charges this week with a pretrial date set for Feb. 6.
Clerk Magistrate Timothy Morey said it’s yet to be decided whether these new charges against Jones will be pursued at the district level or added to the existing superior court charges.
Jones was one of four arrested in connection with the Williamstown and North Adams break-ins of last year, taking place between Feb. 24 and March 9, 2012.
Joseph Pini of North Adams -- the alleged organizer of the crimes -- is currently being held in jail on $40,000 bail. Michael J. Mitchell and Lance C. Latimer, of Williamstown and North Adams, respectively, were charged in Berkshire Superior Court and released on personal recognizance. They are due back in court sometime this year. All men pleaded not guilty.
To reach Phil Demers, email