LINCOLN, Maine— Two town teenagers are due in Superior Court in Bangor today to answer burglary charges while police investigate whether the two were involved in more, but not all, of the roughly 40 break-ins that occurred over the summer, police said Tuesday.
Troy Niles Jr., 19, and Kai Weatherbee, 18, were charged Monday with Class B burglary, a felony, and Class C theft, a misdemeanor. Niles and Weatherbee were being held without bail at Penobscot County Jail in Bangor late Tuesday, a jail worker said.
The arrests resulted from a police investigation of an April 12 burglary of a Lee Street residence in which a door was kicked in and cash, jewelry, alcohol and a laptop computer were stolen, Police Chief William Flagg said. Forensic evidence tested at the state crime lab in Augusta helped police get a warrant charging one suspect late last week after the test results came back.
“Investigations often rely upon test results that take months to process,” Flagg said Tuesday. “This case was no exception.”
Police also recovered the laptop, Flagg said.
Officers Richard York, Chad Chubbuck, former Lincoln police Officer Ray Goodspeed and Sgt. Kevin Giberson investigated the case. The town police are examining whether there are links between the suspects and other crimes, Flagg said.
Investigators identified the two as suspects in several other burglaries, including break-ins at the Treasure Chest consignment store and several car break-ins from July 1 to Aug. 14 that were part of a wave of thefts targeting automobiles, houses, camps and garages.
Flagg described the thefts as crimes of opportunity, thefts occurring due to the absence of elementary security precautions — usually unlocked doors — wherein the thieves target items that can be quickly converted into cash to maintain substance-abuse habits. Stolen items included cell phones, loose change, cash and prescription drugs.
The majority of the thefts occurred in and around downtown Lincoln with some reported as far away as Long Pond.
Another suspect, Christopher Pete, 25, of Lincoln, was charged Sept. 12 with burglary in a theft at the Main Street Redemption Center on West Broadway on July 30. That case is pending.
Police do not believe that the redemption center theft is connected to the crimes Niles and Weatherbee are suspected of committing, Flagg said.