ABBOT, Maine — Police on Tuesday encouraged Piscataquis County businesses to be on the alert for what they believe to be a band of burglars making rounds in the region.
Six break-ins at businesses have been reported in the past two months, including one Monday night at Trafton’s Family Affair in Abbot.
“Somebody is working our area,” Lt. Robert Young of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.
“When you have a flurry of burglaries like this all of sudden start, it’s generally connected.”
Seventeen bottles of liquor, about four cartons of cigarettes, two 18-packs of beer and two six-packs of hard ice tea were reported stolen from the Route 15 store in Abbot, according to Young.
The burglars took a nearby ladder, climbed to the roof, and entered the building through a second-story window, which they forced open, Young said. That entry was used after they had attempted to get into the store via other windows and doors, he said.
Young said the burglars were inside the store for “quite a while” based on the investigation.
“This one is kind of extraordinary in that they broke in, they took a ladder, but when they were done, they put everything back, they put the ladder back, they closed the window, and they put the screen back on the window. That’s unusual,” Young said.
In an attempted break-in at Robinson’s Mobil Mart in Sangerville earlier this summer, burglars also used a ladder that had been stored in the rear of the store.
The burglars climbed to the second floor and pushed in a vent, but left before entering the store, according to police.
Young said several establishments have been burglarized over the past two months.
They include the Parkman town office, the Country Store in Sangerville, Herring Bros. Meat Market and Herrick’s Tires in Guilford, Countryside Meats in Dover-Foxcroft and the Village Store on Route 11 in Brownville.
In the latter break-in, burglars went into an adjoining Laundromat and crawled through the ceiling to the store.
The doors to a safe and an ATM were “peeled” off, Young said. Brownville police have the latter break-in under investigation.
All businesses should have an alarm system, such as an outside audible alarm that would scare off would-be burglars, Young said.
He also advised businesses not to keep money inside stores, even in safes, after hours.
Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity at the Abbot store on Monday night or early Tuesday morning is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s department at 564-3304.