MOUNT DESERT, Maine — A would-be burglar remained in custody Wednesday after he was thwarted in his attempt to rob a summer home the day before.
According to Mount Desert Police Chief Jim Willis, James Grindel, 43, formerly of Hancock, was arrested and charged with burglary after he led police on a chase around Mount Desert Island on Tuesday morning.
Willis said the caretaker, whose name was not released, responded to notification from a security company that an alarm had been tripped at a residence near Barletts Landing Road in the Pretty Marsh area of town. The caretaker brought someone with him, Willis said, and the two men went up to the home on foot where they surprised Grindel who was coming out of the building.
“The caretaker told Grindel he would have to stay there until the police arrived,” the chief said. “Grindel said he wasn’t going to do that.”
The two men got back into the caretaker’s pickup truck, which was blocking the driveway and Grindel’s escape, according to the chief. Grindel then allegedly rammed the truck several times with his own vehicle, Willis said.
While this was happening, the caretaker used his cell phone to call police who told him to get out of the way. He backed down the long driveway, followed by Grindel who allegedly rammed the pickup several more times along the way, Willis said. The suspect also got out of his vehicle and threatened the two men, the chief said.
When they reached the main road, Grindel took off, with the caretaker behind him, reporting his position to police officers who were coming, Willis said. Officers from several agencies joined the chase. Although it was not a high-speed chase, Willis said Grindel refused to stop even when officers caught up with him.
The chase went from Pretty Marsh into the town of Tremont. Grindel eventually was stopped by a Maine State Trooper on Route 102 near Beaver Corner.
Grindel has a long history with police and recently was released from prison on earlier burglary and theft charges. He was convicted on charges stemming from the theft of thousands of dollars worth of antiques, including a bronze statue valued at about $60,000.
On Tuesday, he was arrested and charged with burglary, but, according to Willis, other charges are pending a review by the district attorney’s office. He is being held at the Hancock County Jail on $25,000 bail with one surety or $10,000 cash.