Alleged Union Cemetery equipment thief arrested in Alton

ALTON — The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task force has arrested a former Pittsfield man who city police believe was involved in the theft of some landscaping equipment from the Union Cemetery in June of 2013.

Jeffrey Nickerson, 29, is charged with one count of theft from a building, one count of burglary, and one count of theft of a motor vehicle — a motorcycle.

Nickerson, who was wanted on outstanding warrants from Pittsfield and Barnstead, was found Thursday night hiding behind a bureau in a Main Street apartment in Alton.

He was apprehended by the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force with the assistance of the Alton Police Department.

He appeared by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday and was ordered held on $5,000 cash on the Laconia charges. Nickerson is being held in the Merrimack County House of Corrections.

Police affidavits regarding the Laconia charges said police detectives interviewed Nickerson on October 31 and said he admitted to several thefts in the area, including the thefts and burglary at the Union Cemetery.

He told the investigator that he and another person he declined to identify went to the cemetery at 5:30 a.m. on June 2 posing as landscapers. He said they stole two high-end lawnmowers, blowers, chainsaws and backpacks and brought them to a friend's house on Bay Street.

Information from a second Laconia affidavit stated that on July 31, a different Laconia officer took a statement from Nickerson in which he confessed to stealing a Harley-Davidson Road King from an employee at Granite State Glass on South Main Street on July 5. He said he drove the motorcycle to a Jefferson Street house where he got a couple of grams of methamphetamine and $300. He said he wasn't completely sure what he got for the motorcycle.

Affidavits also indicate Nickerson told police he stole things to support his drug habit.

Captain Bill Clary said yesterday they were holding off on arresting Nickerson because they were hoping to get more information from him about who his accomplices were and where they could recover the lawn equipment and the motorcycle. He said the lawn equipment has not been recovered. The Daily Sun has no information about the motorcycle.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeffrey White said Nickerson had contacted investigators on numerous occasions and had indicated his willingness to turn himself in. When he missed repeated opportunities to surrender and the task force learned he was in Alton, they went to get him.

Nickerson also faces outstanding warrants in Barnstead and Pittsfield.

Sgt. Joseph McDowell said police had information that Nickerson — who was convicted of three counts of sexual assault in Massachusetts — was living in Barnstead between the dates of June 1 and June 12 and failed to report his address to police. They got a warrant for his arrest.

Pittsfield Sgt. Richard Walter said Nickerson was wanted on two outstanding warrants for failing to register in his community. Police also had a warrant for his arrest for one count of burglary, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, and one count of escape — he allegedly ran from Pittsfield Police while he was in their custody.