HANCOCK -- Authorities say neighbors played a major role in disrupting a break-in and house fire on Lebanon Mountain Road on Monday night, efforts that resulted in a 42-year-old Albany, N.Y. woman’s arrest.
According to a state police report, a former girlfriend of Jeffrey Jordan allegedly broke into his home at 231 Lebanon Mountain Road, destroyed property and started a small fire at roughly 8 p.m. on Monday.
The suspect, Amy M. Kessler, was arraigned Tuesday in Northern Berkshire District Court on charges of four counts of malicious destruction of property over $250 and single counts of breaking and entering a building at night and arson of personal property in connection with Monday’s events.
Jordan, 55, was vacationing in Alaska when the break-in occurred, the report reads.
Its writer, Massachusetts State Trooper Steven S. Hean, was alerted to the events by Normand Cullerton, of 213 Lebanon Mountain Road, who had observed a woman, later identified as Kessler, on her initial approach to the house.
Cullerton called police because "nobody should have been at the residence," Hean’s report says.
The report states that after notifying police, Cullerton, Michael Clark and fellow neighbors Edward and Lisa Elias approached Jordan’s home, eventually detaining Kessler as she exited.
Hean arrived to Lisa Elias and Cullerton walking around the west side of the home with Kessler, "holding [her] arms behind her back," and "screaming that Kessler had set the residence on fire."
Inside, Hean found Clark had extinguished a burning pile of papers in the home’s kitchen, using the hose from the kitchen sink.
Also damaged in the break-in were a glass sliding door in the basement, a stereo system, two bathroom mirrors that were spray painted, a computer and potentially more.
"Follow up investigation will be conducted with the victim," the report states.
The report notes several other recent occurrences of vandalism and trespassing at the residence, which had caused Jordan to install security cameras. Police have acquired the secure digital cards from these cameras and will process any resultant photos, the report says.
The earlier events involved a break-in at the home and a defaced vehicle which was stolen from the property and crashed in mid March. Kessler is being investigated as a suspect in these crimes.
Kessler was released on personal recognizance after Tuesday’s arraignment and ordered to stay away from Jordan’s home. A pretrail hearing has been scheduled for May 3.
To reach Phil Demers, email