By Curt Peterson
Killington Police Chief Whit Montgomery told the Mountain Times the department has obtained an arrest warrant for “theft of services” from North Star Lodge on Weathervane Drive in Killington. The warrant names Katie L. Safford, 30, who maintains a Rutland address.
“I feel pretty confident [Safford] will be located and cited,” Montgomery told the Mountain Times, Feb. 8. “We have put the word out to other agencies as well. She may be living in New York state.”
“When located, Safford will be arrested and arraigned for theft of services greater than $900,” a KPD press release stated, “a felony in the state of Vermont.”
If Safford is convicted, she could face jail for up to 10 years and/or a fine of as much as $5,000.
“On Oct. 26, 2020, Safford secured one suite with a debit card and told [North Star staff] she would be paying with a new card when it arrived in the mail,” according to the press release. “She rented a second adjoining suite as her family was in need of temporary housing.”
Lodge staff saw Safford and her family drive off on Nov. 6 without paying the balance of her bill, which was over $2,000. Room damage was discovered when Lodge employees entered to service the suites.
On Jan. 7 the Killington Select Board received a letter from Dean Romano, general manager of the North Star Lodge, describing the theft – $2,300 due on their bill plus damages to their rooms equating to approximating $3,000.
Carpets and two screens had been damaged, Romano said. He was going to see if the carpets could be cleaned.
KPD officer Matthew Hoffman was given a description and license plate photos from the accused’s vehicles, and a Rutland address provided by Safford.
Chief Montgomery told the Mountain Times Romano reported a woman who said her name was “Katy” and her friend “Roger,” checked into two rooms with four minor children on Oct. 26.
One car had New York plates and the other had temporary Kentucky plates.
Montgomery told the Mountain Times KPD located the registered owner of the New York car, who said he had sold the car last summer to someone not among the North Star guests. “For the most part, temporary plates can’t be [traced],” he said.
The man who accompanied Safford at the Lodge, who called himself “Roger,” has not been identified.
“He would not be liable for theft of services since he did not make the reservation,” Montgomery said. “He could be listed as a witness, though.”