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Police: Boots leads to arrest of man who robbed market four times

Published On: Feb 04 2013 01:48:34 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 04 2013 03:21:15 PM EST

A man who committed four burglaries at a grocery in his neighborhood in December was identified by police because of his distinctive boots, officials said.

Dustin Z. Franco acknowledged on Jan. 25 that he "probably committed" burglaries at the Ram Grocery, 393 West Berwick St., Easton, on Dec. 24 and 29, after he saw surveillance video showing the buglar was wearing boots similar to ones owned by Franco, officials said.

Franco said could not remember for sure if he committed the crimes because he had been high at those times, officials added.


Eleven days earlier, Franco was wearing the boots while being questioned at police headquarters about two earlier burglaries at the grocery, on Dec. 9 and 11, officials said, adding that Franco confessed to both at that time.

A neighbor of Franco's also helped crack the case by telling police Franco was selling Newport 100 cigarettes from his home at 486 West Berwick St., Easton, and that Franco was overheard saying he would try to "get the cash register the next time," officials said.

Franco stole almost $3,000 in merchandise and $600 cash, officials said.

In the Dec. 9 burglary, he made off with $558 worth of cigarettes, $450 worth of Dutch Masters and Bluntville flavored cigars and $92 worth of Trojan condoms, while on Dec. 11, his haul was $378 in cigarettes and $12 in cigars, officials said.

On Dec. 24, Franco took $600 in change, $630 worth of cigarettes, $134 worth of cigars, and $20 worth of E-Z Wider rolling papers, and on Dec. 29 he stole $335.35 worth of cigars and $75 worth of ZigZag wraps, officials said.

Each time Franco robbed the grocery, he used a rock to smash the front window, causing $180 in damage.

Franco, 19, was arraigned early Monday morning on charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief for each of the crimes, and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $20,000 bail for three of the offenses and $30,000 on the fourth, according to court documents.

Preliminary hearings are set for 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. Feb. 18.