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May 15, 2013

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Burglaries spur police to seek assistance

BREWER Authorities are investigating recent burglaries of vacant and abandoned properties for the purposes of copper theft. To help stem further incidents, police are asking for the public's help in reporting suspicious activity in and around vacant and abandoned homes and businesses.

Copper thieves often target abandoned properties to remove copper piping and wires and sell the material to metal recyclers and scrap yards. Once the copper has been removed from the property, it is very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the material in question has been stolen, which makes prosecuting copper thieves very difficult.
Police are urging witnesses to call 911 to report suspicious activity in and around vacant and abandoned properties. Some things to watch out for include:

- Strangers walking down your street and looking in houses or garages or loitering in the area. 

- Vehicles circling the block with occupants you don't recognize.

- People or vehicles at vacant properties.

- Unsecured vacant properties, including those with open or broken windows, doors, or other signs of possible entry.

Police are urging residents to spread the word, alert neighbors to the problem and watch out for each other. Police say the majority of burglars caught in the act are caught because a neighbor reported seeing something suspicious.
For more information about burglary or theft prevention, contact the Brewer Criminal Investigation Division at 989-7003.

Bangor officer saves suicidal man

BANGOR  A Bangor police officer saved a suicidal man earlier this week.

On May 12, at about 9:25 p.m., Officer Derek Laflin responded to the bridge on Valley Avenue in Bangor to the report of a despondent man on the outer railing. Laflin tried to negotiate with the man, but he would not communicate with the officer. Laflin backed away and then spoke with the man, which gave rescue units a chance to respond. The officer was eventually able to grab hold of the man and pull him back over the bridge to safety.

The man was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital for an evaluation.

Sgt. Dave Bushey wrote in a memo to the chief, 'Officer Laflin took swift action by gaining positive control of the suicidal male and pulling him to safety. His actions were decisive and clearly in good judgment. Officer Laflin still maintained his surroundings and requested that a citizen divert incoming traffic until he was able to safely secure the man. His actions were commendable and very deserving to be recognized.'

You kind of need one of those

BANGOR  An Ellsworth teen was arrested for operating after suspension after a traffic stop last week.

On May 9, Maine State Tpr. Darren Vittum stopped a vehicle for failing to yield when entering the interstate from an on-ramp. Upon speaking with the driver, identified as James Freedman, 19, of Ellsworth, Vittum learned that he did not have an active license. 

Police indicated that it appears Freedman never had a license.

Who are you again?

BREWER  A Brewer woman is facing charges for giving a false name.

On May 12, around 2:51 a.m., Officer Thom Tardiff was on patrol when he saw a driver turn his pickup truck onto Wilson Street without using a turn signal. Upon speaking with the driver, she reportedly gave Tardiff an incorrect name and birth date. He eventually was able to identify her as Susan Jameson, 51, of Brewer, and learned her license was suspended and she had an active warrant for arrest. 

She was arrested on the warrant and also charged with operating after suspension.

Drunk on a motorcycle with a gun

BREWER  A New Hampshire man was arrested last Wednesday and is facing several charges after police found he was impaired and also carrying a concealed handgun without a permit.

On May 9, around 12:39 a.m., Officer Bo Willey stopped a motorcycle for reportedly driving through a flashing red light without stopping. The officer spoke to Aaron Ward, 31, of Milford, N.H., who admitted he was impaired. After Ward performed poorly on field sobriety tests, he was arrested and a subsequent search revealed a metal tube with drug residue, a marijuana pipe and a concealed handgun and ammo.

Ward was charged with operating under the influence, carrying a concealed weapon, and sale and use of drug paraphernalia.

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