FORT KENT, Maine — A St. John Plantation man has been arrested and charged in connection with the theft of two vehicles from two St. John Valley farms over a period of three days.
According to Fort Kent Police Chief Kenneth Michaud, Josh Pelletier, 18, is charged with unlawful use of property and operating after suspension.
Pelletier is out on bail and scheduled to appear in Fort Kent District Court on April 6.
Michaud said his office received a call on Feb. 13 about a truck abandoned in a snowbank near Bouchard Family Farms on New Canada Road.
Upon arrival, Michaud said, police officers determined the Dodge plow truck belonged to Paul Lozier of Soldier Pond, who had reported the vehicle stolen from his potato shed. The case was turned over to the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department.
On Monday, Joey Bouchard of Bouchard Family Farms noticed one of his farm trucks was missing. The truck was located later in the day near the North Maine Woods gate in St. Francis.
Michaud said it appeared that Lozier’s truck had been stolen and run off the road and into the snowbank near Bouchard’s home. The large farm truck then was taken and driven to St. Francis, where someone apparently was waiting for the thief and picked him up, Michaud said.
“It looks like the same guy took both trucks,” Michaud said. “When he drove one into the snowbank he didn’t want to walk, so he took the other truck.”
Michaud said that in the course of the investigation into the theft of Lozier’s truck Pelletier became a suspect after law enforcement personnel questioned friends of Pelletier’s who told them he had left a gathering but had no ride home.
Michaud said it was apparent that whoever had crashed Lozier’s truck into the snowbank had walked to where Bouchard’s truck had been parked, and this led police to question and subsequently charge Pelletier after Bouchard’s truck was found in St. Francis.
Michaud also is looking for information on a separate incident in which a single vehicle heavily damaged a light pole on Main Street near Andy’s Service early Tuesday morning.
Michaud said a Web camera mounted on a building across the street recorded a logging truck striking the pole at 3:08 a.m. and causing an estimated $4,000 in damage.
“We have it on film but can’t make out who it is,” Michaud said. “It’s definitely a hit-and-run.”