Two men charged in Belfast burglary spree

Posted Dec. 16, 2008, at 3:31 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Two young men have been charged and three others are expected to be following a series of car burglaries in the downtown early Monday.

Edward Benner, 19, of Belfast was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, theft and criminal mischief and is being held without bail at the Waldo County Jail because his latest charges occurred while he was already on bail.

Alex Mansfield, 18, of Belfast also was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, theft and criminal mischief. He also was taken to the county jail and later released on $1,000 bail.

Charges against the other three young men who police say admitted to being involved in the burglary spree are expected to be filed within a matter of days.

So far, 16 individuals have reported that their cars were entered. The burglaries took place on streets throughout the downtown residential neighborhood, running from Anderson Street to Penobscot Terrace.

Detective Michael McFadden said all five had been drinking.

McFadden said the crime wave began when the group went to a residence on Alto Street late Sunday to avenge a friend who had been punched in the face.

When they arrived at the residence, they found the person who had beaten their friend passed out from drinking, according to McFadden. Instead of their initial plan of working the man over, the two who entered the building decided instead to steal some of his belongings.

The group was on foot and took as many things as they could carry, McFadden said, including a television and stereo equipment. The stolen articles were brought to an apartment on Anderson Street.

“They felt that they had so much fun taking the guy’s stuff that they decided to go out and break into some cars,” McFadden said Tuesday.

By late Monday he had interviewed all five and they admitted their crimes, he said.

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