February 1, 2013

Looters steal $200K in coins after Vt. hoarder's death

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Cars, debris and outbuildings rest on the property where an eccentric man known simply as Radkin lived in Alburgh, Vt., Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. It took months for anyone to discover that Radkin had died in an accident on his land. But four people – Mark Mumley, Shawn Farrell, Ricky Benjamin and Jennifer Jarvis – are facing charges for stealing more than $200,000 in gold coins and other items from the property. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

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This booking photo released by Vermont State Police shows Mark Mumley, 52, of Alburgh, Vt. Authorities said four suspects, including Mumley, stole items including more than $200,000 in gold coins from a vacant home in Alburgh after its eccentric owner died in a farm accident last year. Mumley, Shawn Farrell, 41, and Ricky Benjamin, 35, were arraigned and held on $75,000 bail. A fourth suspect, Jennifer Jarvis, 32, was released after being issued a citation. (AP Photo/Vermont State Police)

Additional Photos Below

"He was an unusual fellow, that's for sure," Powell said.

Radkin had asked the owner of Shelburne Point, a prime piece of land on Lake Champlain, if he could keep his horse there and eventually built a house on wheels and asked if he could keep it there and live it in.

Willard Jackson said he agreed, with some trepidation. "For over 20 years, he was the self-appointed caretaker of Shelburne Point and in the process became a legend," Jackson wrote in an online memorial to Radkin.

Jackson's son said Radkin was told he needed to find another home when the family decided to subdivide the property. He moved 55 miles north to Alburgh, but it took him a number of years to leave the point, moving small amounts at a time, Van Powell said.

When a friend had not heard from or seen Radkin in a while, he called the sheriff's department. His body was found crushed under the trailer last March, in an accident that officials believe happened in December 2011. A memorial gathering was held in Shelburne Point in August.

"He was fiercely independent and, in his later years, lived like a pioneer or as Henry David Thoreau did at Walden Pond. He hardly ever bought anything and was content to make do with what no one else seemed to want. He was a farmer, mechanic, inventor, engineer, philosopher, concerned citizen and loyal friend," Jackson said in his memorial.

The property is now being handled by a lawyer. If the price is right, Fleury would consider buying it.

"I'm thinking I'm going to have quite a remodeling job on my hands," he said.

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

This booking photo released by Vermont State Police shows Ricky Benjamin, 35, of Alburgh, Vt. Authorities said four suspects, including Benjamin, stole items including more than $200,000 in gold coins from a vacant home in Alburgh after its eccentric owner died in a farm accident last year. Benjamin, Shawn Farrell, 41, and Mark Mumley, 52, were arraigned and held on $75,000 bail. A fourth suspect, Jennifer Jarvis, 32, was released after being issued a citation. (AP Photo/Vermont State Police)

click image to enlarge

This booking photo released by Vermont State Police shows Shawn Farrell, 41, of Swanton, Vt. Authorities said four suspects, including Farrell, stole items including more than $200,000 in gold coins from a vacant home in Alburgh after its eccentric owner died in a farm accident last year. Farrell, Ricky Benjamin, 35, and Mark Mumley, 52, were arraigned and held on $75,000 bail. A fourth suspect, Jennifer Jarvis, 32, was released after being issued a citation. (AP Photo/Vermont State Police)

 


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