Crime and Justice

Police say Vermont man injured 2 people in 48-hour ‘crime spree’

David Oleson. Photo courtesy of the Williston Police Department

A Vermont man was arrested in Burlington Wednesday morning after he injured two people in a 48-hour “crime spree” of car thefts and break-ins across the area, the city’s police department said. 

David Oleson, 38, was lodged at Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans and has been charged with aggravated operation of a vehicle without the owner’s consent, leaving the scene of an accident that results in injury, and possessing stolen property, according to a Burlington police press release issued Wednesday afternoon. 

Police plan to file additional charges against Oleson, they said.

According to the press release, police in Orange, Massachusetts, were pursuing a truck in the town’s vicinity early Monday morning — which they suspect was being driven by Oleson — that was involved in a rollover crash. Oleson then stole another truck in the area, police said.

By Tuesday morning, Oleson had driven the stolen truck to South Burlington, according to police. At around 7:30 a.m., police said he crashed into another vehicle near Dorset and Market streets and fled the scene. The other vehicle’s driver was injured but is in stable condition at the University of Vermont Medical Center, according to police.

At around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, police said a person who may have been Oleson tried to steal an occupied vehicle on College Street in downtown Burlington. The person fled before officers arrived and left the victim’s vehicle behind, police said. 

“The suspect approached an occupied vehicle, forcefully removed the victim from the vehicle, and injured him,” police said in the press release. 

About 45 minutes later, police said Oleson broke into the City Market grocery store in Burlington’s South End. Then, sometime before 6 a.m., police said Oleson broke into the Burlington Hyundai dealership on nearby Shelburne Road through a window, grabbed keys and stole a vehicle from the lot.

By 6:15 a.m, police said, Oleson may also have broken into two vehicles in the Shaw’s parking lot just down the street in South Burlington, stealing a purse from one and a rifle from the other. 

Just before 7 a.m., Oleson tried to use a credit card that was linked to one of the vehicles he had robbed, police said. A Burlington police officer spotted Oleson in the area, police said, and he drove away “at a high rate of speed.” 

Police said they located Oleson about two hours later on Riverside Avenue in Burlington’s Old North End, where he was arrested. The stolen car from Burlington Hyundai and the stolen gun were recovered, according to police.

Burlington police said Oleson had been on supervised release following a burglary charge and is “well known” to the department. The press release lists his town of residence as “unknown.” 

A Jan. 7 Colchester Sun story about a previous arrest for burglary identified Oleson as a Colchester resident and stated that he’d had 80 documented interactions with police in the area in the last year. 

He is set to appear in court Nov. 29.

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Shaun Robinson

About Shaun

Shaun Robinson is a Report for America corps member with a special focus on issues of importance to Franklin and Grand Isle counties. He is a journalism graduate of Boston University, with a minor in political science. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Patriot Ledger of Quincy and the Cape Cod Times.


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