HOULTON, Maine — A Smyrna man was arrested and charged Tuesday evening in connection with a Nov. 10 burglary at a local grocery store.
John A. Belyea Jr., 25, was arrested just after 5 p.m. and charged with burglarizing Andy’s IGA after evidence linked him to the crime, said Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin.
Belyea was a former employee at the store, Asselin confirmed Wednesday, but he had not been employed there for several months.
The burglary took place after a torch was used to cut an entry opening in the overhead loading dock door of the store.
After entering the building, a torch was used to burn through the safe door.
Approximately $15,000 in cash, a number of cigarettes and the store’s video surveillance system were taken during the burglary.
The burglary was discovered after an employee arrived at the IGA just before 5:30 a.m.
Belyea was taken to the Aroostook County Jail and charged with burglary, theft and aggravated criminal mischief.
Bail was set at $20,000 cash for each count.
Detective Carolyn Crandall and Sgt. Eric Crouse are heading up the investigation, which is ongoing, according to Asselin. Officer Jerad Sylvia also assisted in the investigation.
“I want to commend the officers who were involved in this case,” the chief said Wednesday. “They have been quite tenacious. They’ve never given up.”
The chief said that he could not comment on whether police were looking at other suspects in the case.
“All that I can say is that the investigation is far from over,” he said.