An Essex County woman loaned her car to a homeless St. Johnsbury man. And then he sold it to somebody in New Hampshire

An Essex County woman loaned her car to a homeless St. Johnsbury man. And then he sold it to somebody in New Hampshire. That’s according to court documents charging Tyge Searl, 37, with felony charges of aggravated operation of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and grand larceny. Police say Heather Smith, 43, told the Essex County Sheriff’s Department that she loaned her 2015 Toyota Corolla to Searl on Sept. 24, 2021, so he could drive to Lancaster, N.H. to “get a car part” and that Searl was supposed to come right back. But Searl did not return and Smith’s car remained missing for days. The car, which was valued at $7,000, was later located a week later parked at the residence of Daniel Benoit Sr., 59, at 600 Main Street in Lancaster. Benoit said that he had purchased the vehicle from Searl for $1,500, but Benoit only gave Searl $800 until he could come back with the title. Benoit said there was no bill of sale or any other paperwork for the vehicle. Searl pleaded not guilty to the charges in Essex Superior Court on Monday and then was released on conditions by Judge Justin P. Jiron over the objections of Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi.  Illuzzi asked the judge to set bail at $2,500 arguing that Searl was a risk-of-flight because he was homeless. Searl is facing a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and $9,000 in fines if convicted. 

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https://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/police-homeless-man-borrows-car-sells-it/article_d61982c2-b94d-59fd-8785-52dd7976454d.html