Burglary charges against a Darien real estate investor have been dropped, and he's been charged with trespassing, instead -- he says he was looking over a Hamden house for sale without the owner present.
Editor's note: Hamden Patch published an article on Sept. 24 about the arrest of Mark Carroll, a Darien resident, after Hamden police said they found him in an unoccupied house for sale.
Carroll, 51, was initially charged with burglary. As Carroll notes in a letter to the editor (see below), he is a real estate investor who was checking out a house for sale without the owners being present.
Law enforcement authorities have dropped the burglary charges and instead charged Carroll with first-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website.
He has been approved for the accelerated rehabilitation program, meaning that if he gets into no further trouble with the law, by April 10 the charge will be dismissed in state Superior Court in Meriden, and the state and police will erase their records of the incident.
Here is Carroll's letter to the editor about the case:
To the editor:
I am writing this letter in response to an article written by the Darien Times and the Darien Patch about an incident that occurred in Hamden. The articles inferred that I had burglarized a house and was in possession of burglary tools.
I am a real estate investor and own properties throughout Connecticut. I went to the house with the intention of viewing it and purchasing it, the house was vacant and for sale.
While on the property a neighbor called police thinking I was burglarizing it. The charges of burglary, possession of burglar tools and criminal mischief have all been amended as the court determined there was no intent to commit such crimes.
My purpose in writing this is to provide the whole story and to clarify that I was at the property as a prospective buyer.