LINCOLN, Maine — A state police German shepherd named Semper led police to a town man Friday who investigators say is suspected of being part of a burglary ring that has been targeting local homes over the last two months.
The latest lead in the burglary investigations began for police at 2 a.m. Friday when two Spring Street residents awoke to find a burglar in their bedroom, Police Chief William Flagg said.
The homeowners’ protests caused the burglar to flee. Police arrived and called for Trooper Barry Meserve, who is Semper’s owner. Semper tracked the burglar to a house on Ayer Street where Christopher Pete, 25, resides, Flagg said.
With two officers watching the Ayer Street house covertly for several hours, other investigators, including state police detectives from Bangor, helped take an inventory of items missing from the Spring Street house, Flagg said.
Investigators also discovered that Officer Patti McLaughlin had a warrant charging Pete with burglary in a theft at the Main Street Redemption Center on West Broadway on July 30. Police took Pete into custody when he walked out of the house, arresting him down the street from the Ayer Street house.
Pete was charged with burglary for the Spring Street breakin and also was charged for failing to pay court fines and fees. He was being held without bail late Friday at Penobscot County Jail in Bangor. He is due in Bangor District Court on Monday, a jail spokesman said.
Pete has a lengthy criminal record and “has been the focus of investigations for several weeks,” Flagg said Friday.
Among the incidents being investigated are a spate of Lincoln thefts, at least 39, targeting automobiles, houses, camps and garages usually left open by their owners. Cell phones, loose change, cash and prescription drugs have been among the items stolen, the chief said. The thefts began on about July 1.
“More than one group [of burglars] has been committing burglaries and he is [suspected to be] part of one of them,” Flagg said.