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The teenagers accused of burglarizing homes in Norwich, Preston and Old Lyme last fall targeted properties where they knew they would find valuables and traveled to pawn shops throughout New England to sell the items, according to police.
When the family dog, a 200-pound bull mastiff, got in the way of one burglary, 18-year-old Safi Kachmar hit it with a hatchet "to make it go away," according to a court document. The dog was later treated for blunt trauma to the hind end. In addition to facing multiple burglary, larceny and arson charges, Kachmar is charged with animal cruelty.
New details of the crimes allegedly carried out by Kachmar, 19-year-old Waylon Verley of Norwich and 18-year-old Austin Zajac of Preston were revealed in police documents on file in New London Superior Court. Verley and Kachmar have both posted bond and Zajac is being held in lieu of $25,000. All have upcoming court dates.
The teens allegedly burglarized homes on Thames View Road and Bushnell Place in Norwich, Krug Road in Preston and Saunders Hollow Road in Old Lyme. They also admitted to using "Molotov cocktails," or glass bottles stuffed with gasoline and rags, to set fire to the pickup truck of a Groton teen that they said had ripped them off in a marijuana deal.
As the police began closing in on them in December, Verley went to Norwich police headquarters and confessed, "because he feels that things were getting out of control and he wanted it to stop."
They were looking for guns, Verley told police, because they planned to start robbing banks and armored cars.
They wanted to steal enough money to move out of state and buy a house.
In a statement to police, Zajac said the teens had talked about carrying out a fake kidnapping at his house. They were going to steal all of his stepfather's guns and take him "hostage" to Florida. They talked about it several times but never followed through, Zajac said.
In the Thames View Road burglary, where they knew the teenage occupant, Verley and Kachmar allegedly stole coins, jewelry and weapons valued at more than $31,000. They traveled to pawn shops in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine to sell the stolen goods, according to the court documents.
Upon leaving the home, the teens left a metal spike they had used to break into the safe under the pillow of the teen who lived there in an effort to implicate him in the burglary.
The three teens allegedly broke into a home on Krug Road in Preston on Nov. 15, 2011. Zajac's girlfriend lived there, and he knew there were expensive items in the home, including a ring that the mother planned to give to the girlfriend, according to the documents.
They used a hidden spare key to gain entry, ransacked the house then smashed the window on the front door to make it look like a forced entry. During the police investigation, the son of the homeowner told his mother someone was online playing XBOX under his name. The homeowners also spotted two watches that had been stolen listed for sale on Craigslist.
Some time in November 2011, the teens broke into a shed on Saunders Hollow Road in Old Lyme. Zajac had gone to the home for Thanksgiving with his parents and overheard his stepfather talking about a bunch of guns he had in his "man bunker," according to the court documents.
The teens hid in the woods with binoculars and communicated via walkie-talkie until they were sure nobody was home, Verley told police. They smashed the lock of the shed with an ax. They did not find guns, but took five full ammunition cans from the shed. They thought they heard a car coming up the driveway so decided to light the shed on fire to cover their fingerprints because weren't wearing gloves.
On Oct. 7, 2011, Verley told police he and Kachmar concocted four Molotov cocktails, filling glass bottles with gasoline and stuffing them with rags, and placed them under the white Chevrolet pickup truck of James Kelly Jr., who lived on George Avenue in Groton. Verley said he and Kachmar had ordered a quarter-pound of marijuana from Kelly and gave him $1,600. Verley said he and Kachmar realized Kelly had ripped them off when he called and said he had been pulled over by an unmarked SUV and had to give the weed to the "marshal" in order to avoid arrest.
On Nov. 10, 2011, Kachmar and Verley allegedly stole two generators worth $900 from the front porch of a home on Bushnell Place in Norwich. When they attempted to sell them in Groton, the owners of the Gold Star pawn shop confronted them. Kachmar later dumped the generators in the river because he could not sell them, according to a court document.