MACHIAS, Maine — Three people accused as accomplices in a string of burglaries and thefts that stretched from Lubec to Machias appeared in Washington County Superior Court on Thursday.
Jessica Moore, 24, and Ashley Paquette, 19, both of Machias, and Kristopher Preston, 22, of Roque Bluffs each were charged with four counts of burglary, Class C.
More people are expected to be charged in connection with the break-ins, Assistant District Attorney Joelle Pratt said Thursday.
The three have been released on $10,000 unsecured bail.
It started during the late hours of Feb. 26, when police learned that the Giant Panda Restaurant on Route 1 in East Machias had been broken into.
Then, during the early morning hours of March 2, several businesses on Route 189 in Lubec were broken into, including Uncle Kippy’s Restaurant, Murphy’s Restaurant, the American Legion Lubec Post and Rahilly’s Redemption Center.
On April 7, the Designs by Aaron jewelry store and Sheer Perfection hair salon in Machias were broken into. Several thousand dollars’ worth of jewelry and an undisclosed amount of cash were stolen.
Two more thefts on April 20 and 26 followed that break-in, when the same residence in Machias was broken into during daylight hours.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department questioned Paquette on March 6. “The interview was recorded and she was not being treated as a suspect,” an affidavit on file with the Washington County Superior Court said. Police later became suspicious of her because of her detailed knowledge of the alleged crimes in Lubec, the court documents added.
Paquette implicated several people in connection with the break-ins, according to the affidavit, but they have yet to appear in court.
In the case of Preston and Paquette, the affidavit said, Preston was driving Paquette’s car when Uncle Kippy’s Restaurant was broken into. He allegedly also was driving the vehicle when the other Lubec businesses were broken into. Paquette and Moore were in the vehicle when the crimes took place, the affidavit said.
The man who broke into the restaurant and Preston, Paquette and Moore allegedly split the money and drank some of the alcohol taken from Uncle Kippy’s, the court documents added. “They traveled back to Kristopher Preston’s house in Roque Bluffs where they all stayed the night,” the affidavit stated.
Paquette and Preston already were in trouble with the law.
“Ashley Paquette and Kristopher Preston were both on conditions of release [for other crimes] when these burglaries were committed,” the affidavit stated. “Among other conditions each one of these individual had a condition of no new criminal conduct.”