HOULTON, Maine — A 14-year-old boy faces burglary and theft charges Monday morning after police received reports of more than two dozen vehicle burglaries or attempted burglaries in the community.
Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin said Monday that the crime spree began just before 3 a.m. Monday. Police responded to a call for assistance on Kelleran Street at 3:10 a.m. after a report came in that five vehicles had been burglarized.
Police were able to track footsteps in a fresh layer of snow that fell early Monday morning, according to Asselin. Officers followed the footsteps to High Street, where they discovered that the suspect had burglarized or attempted to burglarize five more vehicles.
Officers continued to follow the footsteps to Ricker Plaza on Military Street, which is a senior citizen housing complex, and discovered that the suspect again had entered or attempted to enter four vehicles. Officers then followed the tracks across the street, where the suspect entered or attempted to enter three more vehicles.
The tracks continued up Military Street, where four more vehicles showed signs of entry or attempted entry. Glass was broken out of one of the cars, Asselin said. The trail continued to three vehicles on Main Street and then to two more vehicles on Summer Street.
As the suspect was moving from one location to another, he was discarding some of the stolen property, according to the chief.
Officers then tracked the suspect to an apartment building on Main Street where he was confronted inside his residence by the officers. Asselin said the teen acknowledged his involvement in the crimes and retrieved some of the stolen property from his closet.
Property recovered included a wallet, 21 compact discs and cases, two disk drives and $43.
Asselin said the suspect was already out on conditional release for similar conduct in Presque Isle. The teen is now in the custody of the state Department of Corrections.
Houlton Police Officer Randall Wilson and Sgt. Fred Parker investigated the incident. They received assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol.
Asselin commended the officers for their work. He said Monday that he believed the suspect would have continued committing motor vehicle burglaries in the coming weeks had he not been apprehended.
Asselin said police might not be aware of all the vehicles that were burglarized. Anyone who believes they may be a victim is asked to call the Police Department at 532-2287.