ROWLEY — The owner of a Salisbury business was ordered to stay away from a local company after admitting a judge or jury could find him guilty of stealing a circular saw and snowblower in October.
In Newburyport District Court on Monday, Trenton Wendell, 47, 29 Sabatino Farm Road, Peabody, saw a larceny over $1,200 charge continued without a finding for a year, while charges of larceny under $1,200 and larceny from a building were dismissed.
If he stays away from the local landscaping company and stays out of trouble with the law, the remaining charge would be dismissed in a year, according to the court.
Wendell owns T&A Small Engine Repair on Bridge Road, and it was on his property where police found the stolen equipment, according to a Rowley police report.
The police report said that in early October, the owner of a Route 1 landscaping company reported the theft of five snowblowers and three circular saws throughout 2018.
The owner questioned employees who had access to the storage building where the items were kept and quickly narrowed his suspicions to Wendell.
Wendell had been hired to fulfill snow removal contracts and later became the company's small engine repair expert. He was also the only employee who worked inside the storage building daily.
Rowley police interviewed Wendell, who admitted he took a snowblower back to his Salisbury business and claimed he sold it as scrap metal for $12.
Police were dubious and did some more digging. A detective soon found the snowblower for sale on Craigslist. Police obtained a search warrant for T&A Small Engine Repair and found the snowblower in a trailer on the property.
Officers also found a circular saw that was reported missing by the landscaping company owner, according to a report written by Officer Patrick McGettrick.
Wendell denied stealing the items, claiming that he had permission to borrow the items and would bring them back to his boss.
"I explained to Wendell that this was not the case and that he would be charged for larceny for the two pieces of equipment," McGettrick wrote in his report.
Wendell was eventually summonsed to court on the charges.
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @drogers41008.