Thefts from sheds, garages investigated in Belmont

BELMONT — For those with lawn equipment or generators, noting the make, model and number could help identifying them should they be stolen, like a number of them were in Belmont this past week.

Police, said Lt. Rich Mann, are investigating a series of the thefts from outside sheds and garages, and he said some of the items stolen include a tilling machine, a dirt bike and a generator.

"These are things that are often pawned for cash," said Mann, saying that if victims can identify their items, when police go looking for them, it makes it a lot easier for them to get a conviction and for victims to possible get their things back.

Mann said there have been thefts from at least four residences over the past week and all of them involved items that were stored in outside sheds or garages.

Mann also said people should notify police if they see strange people and/or vehicles around their neighborhoods. He said even if the call results in nothing, it lets others know that people who live in residential neighborhoods that their neighbors care what happens.

"It takes all of us," Mann said.

Anyone with any information about the recent thefts or anyone who sees any unusual activity in their neighborhoods is asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8350.

– Gail Ober

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Brush fire chars two acres in Gilford over weekend

GILFORD — Area firefighters spent Friday night into early Saturday extinguishing a brush fire that charred two acres on Belknap Mountain Road before being extinguished.

Chief Stephen Carrier said the fire was reported just before midnight and was caused by a permitted fire that rekindled on the windy evening.

He said the darkness was what made it difficult to fight. He said at one point it appeared to spread to an area on Marjorie Way, but that was quickly extinguished.

He said crews returned on Saturday and extinguished four or five hot spots, but when he returned on Sunday, the fire was completely extinguished.

On Monday and in other parts of the state, firefighters from the capital area and Belmont Fire and Rescue was battling a blaze in Loudon while firefighters in the north county were working to extinguish a large brush fire that at times came dangerous close to burning the historic Albany wooden covered bridge. As of 11 a.m. Monday, crews continued to try to contain the fire near the bridge.

Carrier said that with rain predicted for the next two days, fire danger should diminish significantly.

– Gail Ober

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Man held for assaulting girlfriend, hospital guard


LACONIA — City police arrested a Belmont man after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and a hospital security guard while she was in the emergency room waiting for medical attention in the late evening of Nov. 11.

Affidavits obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court said David Rhodes, 31, of 33 N. Brook Road in Belmont said police were called and found Rhodes struggling with several Lakes Region General Hospital security guards in the emergency room parking lot.

The guards told them that he tried to kick one of them after they tried to detain him for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend while she was in one of the examining rooms.

The female victim told police that she and Rhodes had been arguing earlier in her home on Gilford Avenue, and that he struck her in the face with his fist a few times and choked her until she lost consciousness. She said she was taken by Laconia ambulance crews to Lakes Region General Hospital.

While in the hospital, she said the argument began anew and Rhodes allegedly punched her in the face a few times and choked her again until she became dizzy.

Police said the woman's injuries included abrasions to her face, a swollen upper lip and a discolored nose. She needed stitches to close an approximately 1-inch cut on her left upper lip, and had blood stains on her clothing.

Rhodes refused bail and entered a not guilty plea in court on Monday. He was ordered held on $20,000 cash-only bail.

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