BANGOR – State police have solved a rash of home burglaries that plagued Penobscot and Piscataquis counties over the past several months.
Police say arrests are pending, bu the thefts are linked to drug usage.
They started in July.
Thieves hit upwards of 20 homes in Troy, Plymouth, Palmyra, Newburgh, Corrina and Newport. Now, one person has been arrested, but police expect others to be indicted in connection with the burglaries soon.
“The recent strings we’ve worked, it’s random houses, in random areas. And sometimes there’s several miles in-between houses,” said Jarod Stedman, Maine State Police Troop E detective.
In fact, it seems some thieves have a shopping list when they enter homes.
“This group was primarily focusing on tools, generators, chainsaws. Pretty much anything, you know, they could sell to their local people. They would reach out to friends who would reach out to friends,” Stedman said.
Statistics aren’t available for this year yet. But Stedman says it appears as if there’s been a spike in weapons being stolen.
“A lot of that can be attributed to, you know, the organized groups coming to our state looking for just that. Looking for firearms to to take back into the cities to be used in some of the organized crime there,” he said during an interview Thursday morning.
Organized crime, in this case, refers to gang members from southern New England cities who travel to rural Maine, patrolling back roads looking for homes to burglarize.
They’re involved in drug trafficking and other types of organized crime. They too are taking stolen property back and selling it. The guys are not only coming here dealing drugs, it’s organized crime,” said the veteran detective.
Stedman says recording the serial numbers of your tools, appliances and weapons increases the odds of getting any stolen property returned.