Rash of home burglaries seen in Bangor

Posted Dec. 07, 2009, at 9:07 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Brazen thieves are breaking into homes in areas near the city’s downtown and sometimes they’re doing it while people are home, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.

“Some [break-ins] were while people were home sleeping,” he said.

Bangor Police Department officers are investigating more than a dozen residential burglaries that have been reported in the last week, with five reported in the last day.

“We’re getting a lot of these reports,” Edwards said. “We’re just getting a bunch in a row. Whether they’re connected with the same people, I’m not sure yet.”

The thefts have been reported in the triangle formed by Ohio, Union and Fourteenth streets on the west side of the city, and on the east side of the city in areas between Center, Essex and Grove streets, Edwards said.

“The majority of the recent burglaries have been located in the residential areas immediately adjacent to the downtown area on both the east and west side of the city,” Edwards said in a press release issued Monday.

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Police are asking residents to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and to watch out for neighbors.

“If you see someone walking around Bangor carrying a TV,” please call police, Edwards said.

Large flat-screen TVs are one of the items being targeted in the recent rash of thefts, which leads police to believe at least two suspects are working together to do the crimes.

“There have been a few of those,” Edwards said.

Also taken recently are computers, cell phones, jewelry, cash, personal items and checkbooks.

Precautions residents can take to help prevent a home burglary include adding timers or motion detectors to outside lights, installing audible alarms, ensuring doors and windows are locked at all times, and keeping curtains closed.

“What can’t be easily seen might be left alone,” Edwards said.

Residents should etch names into items and keep records of all serial numbers of electronic equipment. It’s almost impossible to recover a stolen item without serial numbers, Edwards said.

Bill Rae, director of Manna Ministries Inc., also asked for the public’s assistance Monday in locating a 5-by-10-foot utility trailer stolen from the parking lot of the facility on Dec. 3.

He said the theft occurred on one of the same days as robberies on the east side of Bangor. Manna is located at 621 Main St. at the former site of Beal College. The nonprofit corporation provides food, shelter and other services to the needy in eastern and central Maine.

The black utility trailer has a drop-down back and is used to pick up food and other items used at Manna, Rae said. “We need the trailer back, especially at this time of the year, as it is used to pick up Christmas gifts,” he said.

Those with information about the recent string of thefts or who witness suspicious activity can call Bangor police at 947-7382.

“If you would like to remain anonymous, use our tip line at 947-7382, ext. 95811,” Edwards said.

The tip line goes directly to voice mail, and callers remain anonymous.

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