BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — Many people, when visiting a friend, bring a small gift, maybe pastries or a bottle of wine.
But police say David Lefebre, 45, brought a ladder.
Problem is, it wasn’t his; the ladder belonged to the Peabody Essex Museum, police say. Now Lefebre, of Peabody, is facing a charge of felony larceny. He pleaded not guilty to the charge during his arraignment Monday in Salem District Court, where he was released on personal recognizance with a condition that he stay away from the museum.
When confronted by police, Lefebre allegedly told the officers that he needed to use it to climb to the second-floor apartment of his buddy, who lives at 27 Charter St., an apartment building run by the Salem Housing Authority for senior citizens and disabled individuals, according to the police report.
A museum employee called police shortly before 4 a.m. when he saw someone stealing a ladder from a loading dock, according to court papers.
The worker said he noticed that the person carried the ladder across Charter Street to the apartment complex.
The ladder was placed directly below the window of Novia Turkette III.
Turkette is a paraplegic as a result of a motorcycle crash. He is also known for prior run-ins with the law, including a 2004 conviction for his role as the lookout and getaway driver in an attempted Georgetown burglary that his father, Novia Turkette Jr., admitted orchestrating during a Salem Superior Court hearing that year. By coincidence, one of their co-defendants in the case, who had defaulted years ago, is due in court today to plead guilty.
Turkette told police he was having friends over. Lefebre told the officers that he took the ladder to get into the apartment through the window.
It is not clear why he did not enter through the door.
Lefebre allegedly told police he planned to return the ladder but forgot.
Lefebre is due back in court on Sept. 3.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.