Man sentenced in tool theft, running driver off the road

Posted Oct. 09, 2008, at 12 a.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6 a.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — A 30-year-old Edmunds man who was charged with stealing tools from a construction site and running the site manager off the road has been sentenced to two years in prison with all but six months suspended.

Matthew C. Seeley also was placed on two years probation and ordered to pay $1,000 restitution and $575 in fines, when he appeared Tuesday in Washington County Superior Court. Seeley’s license was suspended for 30 days.

In March, a Washington County grand jury indicted Seeley and charged him with two counts of burglary and one count each of theft by unauthorized taking, aggravated criminal mischief and driving to endanger.

The case of Christopher A. Kilton, 32, of Pembroke, Seeley’s co-defendant, is pending before the court.

In September 2007, Dan Ackley, the site manager at a construction site in Cooper, went to the house lots in the Cathance Shores subdivision just off Route 191 to check on them. The road into the subdivision, which ordinarily had a cable across it to limit access, was lying on the ground, according to an affidavit on file with the Washington County Superior Court.

When Ackley arrived at the house lot designated S-15, he reportedly found Seeley and Kilton. “They were loading tools and stuff from the house into a pickup truck,” the affidavit said. Ackley, who did not know the men, noted that some of the tools looked familiar.

“They gave him some story about collecting their tools because the contractor they were working for hadn’t paid them, but Mr. Ackley noted that some of the tools on their truck were his and had come from the house under construction on lot S-5,” the affidavit said.

The men decided not to take the tools, and Ackley watched as they began to unload the truck and put the tools back on the porch. At that point he noticed a rifle across the front seat of the men’s truck and decided to leave. “He did so and tried to drive very slowly out the [narrow] access road, while he called ‘911’ on his cell phone,” the court documents said.

The men caught up with Ackley’s truck and tried to pass, but the site manager continued to drive slowly in hopes police would arrive. After following Ackley a short distance, the men did manage to pull alongside Ackley’s truck, striking it on the side and forcing it off the road and into a tree, according to court documents. The two men then sped away.

Ackley was not injured.

The site manager was able to get the license plate number of the truck. “[He then] hid in the woods while continuing to talk to the [police] dispatchers,” the affidavit said.

Police arrived and learned the truck was registered to Kilton. Police also discovered Kilton had been seen earlier in the evening with Seeley. They began looking for both men.

The next day, Ackley identified Kilton and Seeley from photo lineups, the affidavit added.

That same day, police found Kilton’s truck in a gravel pit. The truck had been damaged in the area where it had struck Ackley’s truck. Kilton was found and arrested by police later that day.

“Mr. Kilton confirmed his involvement with these events,” the affidavit said.

Two days after the incident, Seeley turned himself in to police.

bdncalais@verizon.net

454-8228

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