Virginia man charged with stealing timber from Pittsfield landowner

By WKTV News

PITTSFIELD, N.Y. - A Virginia man is facing charges in Otsego County after authorities say he stole roughly $15,500 from a Town of Pittsfield landowner in Fall 2009.

According to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office, James R. Collins, 37, former partner of logger Aaron VanDusen, had been contracted with a Pittsfield property owner to cut timber off of the site on Ketchum Road in the Fall of 2009.

In 2010 the landowner had contacted a Fly Creek attorney who in turn contacted Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl about the timber theft. The D.A. later turned the case over to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office for investigation.

The investigation revealed that VanDusen and Collins cut approximately $45,000 worth of timber from the property in 2009 and only paid the landowner $7,000 for the timber for his share. This week, Collins surrendered himself at the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and was arrested for third-degree grand larceny.

He was arraigned by a Village of Cooperstown Judge and released on his own recognizance returnable next month in the Cooperstown Court. If convicted, Collins faces up to seven years in prison.

The Otsego County District Attorney's SIU assisted with the timber theft investigation.

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