Break-ins at camps investigated

Posted Oct. 12, 2009, at 8:51 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:12 p.m.

TOWNSHIP 1 RANGE 9, Maine — The Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department and the Maine State Police are investigating more than 20 camp break-ins on remote Ambajejus Lake, located off the Golden Road in northern Piscataquis County.

The break-ins started on Sept. 1 and continued through Sunday night, Investigator Allen Emerson of the Sheriff’s Department said Monday. At least three camps were broken into on Sunday night, he said.

“I don’t believe that drugs and alcohol are the only things they’re after,” Emerson said. He said the burglars took food, money, handmade quilts, an older .22-caliber rifle, clothing, hunting gear, recreational items such as snowmobile helmets, and power and hand tools from the camps.

While the burglars took alcohol from one camp, they left it behind at other break-ins, Emerson said. They also left behind oxycodone pills in one of the camps, he said.

The Golden Road has been patrolled quite frequently over the past several months by the Sheriff’s Department, along with state police, local police and wardens as part of the Homeland Security program. The county received a Stone Garden grant to pay for the extra patrol coverage, but the focus has been on the Golden Road to the border, according to Emerson.

Emerson said the burglars have hit about three or four camps each week. He said one couple left for four hours to go into Millinocket, and their camp was broken into while they were away.

The burglars have forced in front doors to gain entry to the camps.

Emerson said there are some people who live year-round in the area, and at least one of them reported seeing a vehicle with two men who appeared suspicious.

The state police also are investigating additional break-ins, but the trooper involved in the investigation could not be reached Monday for comment.

Emerson said his department would be meeting with the state police to discuss the break-ins and compare notes. Evidence was collected at some of the break-ins, he said.

Anyone who may have seen any suspicious vehicles or activity in the lake region are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 564-3304.

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