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Criminal Mischief (03/28/2018)

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Man charged in storage unit thefts

THOMASTON – A Thomaston man has been arrested and charged with multiple burglaries involving storage units and spanning years. State Police, working with a number of sheriff’s offices in the Midcoast, are asking owners and renters of storage units to check them following the arrest. 

On March 19, state troopers arrested 37-year-old Joshua Vandine in Rockland and charged him with burglary and possessing a stolen gun. Troopers seized enough items from Vandine’s home, vehicle and his own storage locker, to load up two U-Haul trucks. The items include chainsaws, tools, hunting and fishing equipment, coins, antiques, toys, and clothing.   

Troopers said Vandine is suspected in multiple burglaries into storage lockers over the past two years. He is suspected of cutting the padlocks from the storage units and then replacing the lock with one of his own to avoid immediate detection. Owners who have not checked their own storage units in months could be victims. 

The thefts are likely in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties and troopers have been working with the sheriff’s offices from those four counties in the investigation. Some of the thefts may date back to 2016.

Storage unit owners and renters who have discovered they are victims should call State Police in Augusta at 624-7076

Dirt bike distress

MEDWAY – An attempt at a traffic stop in Medway went awry recently, leaving one deputy not laughing all the way to the bank – the snow bank.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on March 20, Penobscot County Sheriff’s deputy, Cpl. Daren Mason was traveling the Pattagumpus Road in Medway. Cpl. Mason observed an ATV and off-road dirt bike approaching. When the ATV and dirt bike passed him, he observed violations, turned around and attempted to conduct a traffic enforcement stop.

While attempting to stop the ATV and dirt bike, the driver of the dirt bike decelerated abruptly. This caused Cpl. Mason to take evasive action. The dirt bike collided on the passenger side of the Sheriff’s vehicle. The Sheriff’s vehicle then struck a frozen snow bank and came to rest on top of the snow bank.

Cpl. Daren Mason did not receive any injuries. The operator of the dirt bike received minor injury and was transported to a local hospital and released the same day.

The accident remains under investigation.

Turkey terror

KENNEBUNK – Police officers in Kennebunk recently found themselves talking turkey in a most unexpected way.

According to a Facebook post on the Kennebunk PD’s Facebook page last week, they were called to an incident involving a break-in … by a wild turkey.

Officers responded to the scene, where said turkey had broken into the home through a bedroom window, had – to quote the FB post – “forcibly entered.” The Kennebunk PD went on to post photos of the bird showing it amidst the chaos it caused in the bedroom.

Police also attached an “artist's rendering of the suspect” - a generic line drawing of a turkey. They also referred to the turkey as a “peeping Tom.”

Police are asking local residents to be on the lookout for “Tom.”

Up a tree

PRESQUE ISLE – You can run through snow or climb a tree, but a Maine State Police K9 is going to find you. Two Presque Isle men found that out the hard way recently.

On March 23, State Trooper Andrew Levesque and his K9 partner Vitz were called to assist Presque Isle PD with tracking two subjects wanted on outstanding warrants that had fled a house on foot.

Trooper Levesque and Vitz - assisted by Trooper Todd Stetson and Warden Ed Christie - tracked from the residence to a wooded area where Vitz located one subject hiding in a tree; said subject was arrested without further incident.

A second track was started and after approximately two hours of tracking through the woods - sometimes waist-deep snow - the second subject was located and arrested without further incident.

Both subjects were turned over to the custody of Presque Isle PD.

Armed robbery in Westbrook

WESTBROOK (AP) — Police in Maine are investigating a coffee shop robbery they believe may be related to a string of armed robberies in Cumberland County.

According to reports, this latest robbery happened at the Daily Grind coffee shop in Westbrook Saturday morning. Police say the suspect threatened a clerk with a gun and then fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

The incident follows four other robberies in the area that happened last week. Businesses in Cumberland, Westbrook, Portland and Falmouth were targeted.

An investigation continues.

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