Municipal theft, missing shoes lead to charges

Posted Sept. 08, 2009, at 10:31 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:11 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — A woman has been charged with stealing nine pairs of shoes from Indian Hill Trading Post, as well as the theft of items from the municipal office where she worked for years cleaning.

Doris Ward, 55, who was charged with the Class E theft of a digital camera, Class C theft of the shoes, and Class C theft of four portable radios, is expected to make her initial appearance in 13th District Court on Nov. 16 in Dover-Foxcroft. Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine, and Class E crimes are punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Police Chief Scott MacMaster said Indian Hill Trading Post has had quite a few pairs of shoes stolen over the last year, and had been watching the department closely to find the thief. That action may have paid off on Monday when Ward allegedly was seen removing a pair of shoes from a box and placing the shoes inside her pocketbook.

“She would take them [shoes] and put them in her purse, take the box and find an area that she could conceal the box in and throw the box into there and take off,” MacMaster said Tuesday.

MacMaster questioned Ward about the shoes, but also asked her about items that were missing from the municipal office where she cleaned after regular office hours. She allegedly admitted to taking a digital camera and four portable radios from the municipal office, and nine pairs of shoes from the store, MacMaster said.

When MacMaster asked her why she took the shoes, she told him that she “liked shoes,” the police chief said. Most of the shoes were valued at more than $100, including a pair of Irish Setter Lady Hawk shoes. Store officials claimed shoe losses of $1,153 in August, $635 in July and $610 in May, he said.

Stuart Watt, owner of Indian Hill Trading Post, said Tuesday changes have been made at the store to keep this from happening in the future, and anyone caught stealing from the store will be prosecuted to the fullest. He said he appreciated the efforts of his employees to stop the thefts because the thefts affect not only the store but other customers as well.

Ward cleaned state offices and private residences in the Moosehead Lake region in addition to the municipal office, MacMaster said. He said the camera had been taken within the last two weeks from the office of the code enforcement officer, and the four portable radios had been stolen from the Police Department more than two years ago, according to MacMaster. Ward reportedly told MacMaster that she used the radios when hunting.

MacMaster said the portable radios, which had been replaced with newer models and were considered discards, had been destined for use at the Greenville schools in case of an emergency. It was not until former Police Chief Duane Alexander went to the school to do some training that he found the radios never had been deliv-ered, MacMaster said. Alexander had inquired about the radios in the municipal office but no one knew their whereabouts, he said.

dianabdn@myfairpoint.net

876-4579

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