Two men charged in MDI break-ins

Posted Feb. 10, 2010, at 7:51 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:47 a.m.

MOUNT DESERT, Maine — Two men from Swans Island are facing felony criminal charges for allegedly forcing their way into and vandalizing more than a dozen homes on Long Pond, according to local police.

James Lemoine, 18, and Roman Cook, 18, had been ice fishing on Long Pond the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day when they decided to check out some of the nearby shorefront seasonal homes on Northern Neck, according to Mount Desert Police Officer Ken Mitchell. Sometime during that holiday weekend, they allegedly ended up breaking into 15 homes on the peninsula and caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to one of them, Mitchell said Wednesday.

“There were a couple of places that had substantial damage,” Mitchell said. “We’re talking between $50,000 and $100,000 [damage to all of the homes]. I don’t know what the total will be.”

At the one house with the $50,000 damage estimate, furniture, walls, windows and light fixtures were among the items that were broken or vandalized, the officer said. Other damaged items included a toilet at one house and two refrigerators, one of which has an ax mark on the door, he said.

Cook and Lemoine each have been arrested on charges of burglary and criminal mischief, according to Mitchell. Each has since bailed out of Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth, he said.

Mitchell said a 17-year-old also likely will face charges in the vandalism spree. He said the juvenile’s name is being forwarded to the Hancock County District Attorney’s office for possible prosecution, but that the boy has not yet been summoned or arrested.

Mitchell said two other juveniles are believed to have known about and to have been in the vicinity of the homes during the incident, but likely will not face charges.

Some of the houses had relatively little damage but the vandals are believed to have discharged fire extinguishers at “most all” of them, according to the officer. Preliminary estimates for cleaning up the fire extinguisher chemicals range upward from $2,000 for each house, he said.

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