Rash of vehicle thefts hits Bangor

Posted Dec. 18, 2008, at 8:17 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Three vehicles were reported stolen Thursday morning, two others were taken Wednesday and police are asking for help finding the criminal or criminals responsible.

“We’ve had five stolen cars in the last two days,” Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Thursday. “Two [taken Thursday] were recovered very shortly after. They were taken and quickly dumped. They still got away with one.”

The two recovered vehicles, reported stolen at around 7:45 a.m., were taken from Wing Street and recovered about an hour later in the area of Fifth Street.

Three of the five stolen vehicles remain unaccounted for, including a green 2003 Mercury Sable four-door, with Maine Black Bear license plate No. 840ACG, that was running when it was taken from Second Street around 7 a.m. Thursday.

“We’re not sure if they’re related,” Edwards said of the two-day auto-theft spree. He added, police believe that “it may be more than one person.”

One of the vehicles reported stolen Wednesday was a blue 1994 Saturn SL, license plate No. 5836PE, taken from a driveway on French Street, where the owner parked it with the keys in the ignition, according to police reports.

The other car reported stolen Wednesday was a gold 2002 Mazda Protege, license plate No. 2274MD, parked on Warren Street. The victim of that crime said the vehicle was locked but that a spare set of keys was inside the glove box.

Police have no suspects yet in the investigation, but said there was one similar factor in each of the auto thefts.

“The keys were left in all of these vehicles,” Edwards said.

Vehicle burglaries, one on French Street and one on Warren Street, also were reported early Wednesday, and reports of other car burglaries continued to come in to the police station Thursday, Edwards said.

Police are telling residents to take precautions to prevent further thefts.

“We’re urging people to remove their keys from their vehicles and to lock them up,” Edwards said. “If you start cars in the morning, don‘t leave them unattended.

“If you feel you must leave it running, keep it locked, position it so you can see it at all times, or block it in with another vehicle,” he added.

With cold weather, it’s common for Maine car owners to warm up their vehicles.

“We all do it,” Edwards said, adding that with the recent rash of auto thefts everyone needs to be extra careful to avoid being victimized.

Those who have seen the missing vehicles or who have information about these car thefts, can call the Bangor Police Department at 947-7382.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

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