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Wanted man Harley Breer surrenders to police

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 3:56 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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MARSHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Police say a fugitive turned himself in to the police on Wednesday.

Harley Breer, 51, of Marshfield, was wanted for domestic assault and resisting arrest and was considered armed and dangerous.

Vermont State Police say he assaulted a neighbor near his home in Marshfield Friday night, and then removed his ankle monitor and took off. A manhunt had been underway for him since.

Police say on Wednesday, just before 3:30 p.m., Breer walked out of a wooded area on Route 232 in Marshfield and surrendered to a Vermont trooper. He was taken into custody without incident. Police thanked the public for the numerous tips they received that resulted in the manhunt ending peacefully.

“Communities can sleep well tonight, and Mr. Breer is back in jail,” Vermont State Police Capt. Matt Daley said.

Breer had been out on house arrest for kidnapping and domestic assault.

He has been in and out of court in Vermont for the last 30 years for a series of violent crimes, including kidnap and rape.

Daley acknowledged the help from the public which assisted VSP in finding Breer.

“We can’t thank the community enough for that sort of thing because without them, a lot of people have firsthand knowledge of Mr. Breer and his tendencies and we wouldn’t know that,” Daley said.

Earlier Wednesday, the search for Breer prompted a brief lockdown at U-32 High School after reports of an increased police presence in the vicinity of the East Montpelier school.

Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault said given Breer’s past offenses, he could be looking at substantial time in prison, even without taking into account this current run-in with the law.

“As a matter of his sentence structure really no matter what, next month he transitions to a furlough status that has a life maximum, so independent of any of the new charges there’s a lot at stake already,” Thibault said.

Police arrested Breer’s uncle, Earle Rogers, 62, of Marshfield, Tuesday night on suspicion of helping his nephew evade the police. Authorities say Rogers allowed Breer to spend several nights at his home while on the run, and he unsuccessfully attempted to provide money to his nephew.

“That help came despite what I would call the legal and moral obligation to do the right thing. So when looking back on 30 years I think we have to look back on those who supported and enabled those behaviors that got us to today,” Thibault said.

Rogers faces charges including accessory after the fact and giving false information to law enforcement.

Breer was held at the Northwest State Correctional Facility and was due to be arraigned virtually at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday by the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Barre.

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