58-year-old former Norton resident, Anthony Schmitka, one of the first defendants highlighted on the Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List unveiled to the public last month, has been tracked down and apprehended in Woodstock, VT., Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today.
The defendant had been on the run since early 2016 when he failed to appear for a jury trial in Attleboro District Court. The defendant was subsequently indicted on two Superior Court charges of larceny over $250 from a person over the age of 60. This defendant is accused of systematically stealing more than $100,000 from his elderly father.
In February 2013, the defendants’ father, who is a US Military Veteran, received a retroactive benefits check for more than $100,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs. During the next 12 months, this defendant is alleged to have stolen the money, using a portion of it to play the lottery and gamble at a local casino.
On February 14, 2019, District Attorney Quinn, joined by members of his state police unit and police chiefs from throughout Bristol County, announced the creation of a Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List and a new anonymous tip program during a press conference in Westport.
During that announcement, the defendant’s name and photo was released to the public in hopes that new leads would be generated on his whereabouts. A week after this announcement, Norton Police received a tip stating that the defendant was hiding out in Vermont.
This information was passed along to DA Quinn’s State Police Unit and the Massachusetts Violent Fugitives Apprehension Section (VFAS), since both agencies had been working collaboratively to locate and apprehend this wanted fugitive.
Thanks to that tip, tenacious investigatory work and the assistance of the US Marshals, investigators were able to take this fugitive back into custody yesterday in Vermont.
The defendant has since waived rendition, is currently being held in custody in Vermont and will likely be transported back to Massachusetts to face the charges lodged against him in Fall River Superior Court sometime next week.
District Attorney Quinn would like to thank VFAS, members of his state police unit, Norton Police, the US Marshals and the Woodstock, VT. Police for their help in locating and apprehending this fugitive from justice.
More information on the Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List can be found at www.facebook.com/bristoldafugitives and www.bristolda.com/fugitives.
“I am very pleased this fugitive was arrested in Vermont through the cooperation of a number of law enforcement agencies. This case highlights the efforts that we will undertake to locate and apprehend fugitives who skip court or who are wanted for serious crimes,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I want to sincerely thank all the agencies for their cooperative efforts in this case.”