NEW LONDON – A Massachusetts man who just got out of prison there has been returned to Connecticut to face charges in the December 2012 theft of four Rolexes from a Foxwoods boutique.
Thomas Nee, 47, formerly of Dedham, Mass., pleaded not guilty Wednesday in New London Superior Court to charges of first-degree larceny and two counts of first-degree failure to appear in court. Nee was assigned Public Defender Fred DeCaprio to defend him.
Acccording to an arrest warrant affidavit, at about 8:44 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2012, a man later identified as Nee walked into the Foxwoods Watch Co. inside Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Grand Pequot Hotel in Mashantucket.
Video surveillance showed Nee walk behind the counter and into a back room, police said. There, the video showed him ripping a locked display cabinet door off the wall, removing four Rolex watches and putting them in his pocket, then leaving the store, police said.
The watches were valued at $10,900, $37,450, $14,250 and $11,000, according to police. Total value was $73,600.
The theft wasn’t discovered for about 15 minutes, police said. Police said Nee walked outside Foxwoods using a rear stairwell and emergency exit door, then at about the same time as the theft was discovered, he boarded a tour bus that left the casino for Chinatown in Boston.
Police said they identified Nee by following his movements on video before he entered the store, and learned he had stayed at an MGM Grand hotel room and played blackjack that morning using a casino player’s card under his name.
He was tracked down and arrested in Massachusetts, then extradited to Connecticut on Jan. 4, 2013, police said. Released on bail while awaiting his case to be settled, Nee was charged with first-degree failure to appear in court about a year later in December 2013. A second first-degree failure to appear charge was filed in June 2017.
Police said Nee has an extensive criminal record in Massachusetts, including convictions for armed robbery, breaking and entering, larceny and assault.
Nee was arrested in June 2017 outside Fenway Park in Boston for violating probation in Massachusetts, according to a press release from the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He also was charged that month in federal court with robbing five Boston banks of more than $8,000 between April and June 2017. In September 2017 he was sentenced to seven years and eight months in federal prison to begin after he finished serving his Massachusetts sentence, according to the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Despite the federal claim on him, Nee was transferred on Jan. 23 to Corrigan Correctional Institute in Montville from Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, Mass.
He is being held on a $20,000 bond. His next court date is March 12.