BEAVER COVE, Maine — Two Lebanon 17-year-olds were summoned to court Monday on charges of burglary in connection with six break-ins on the Burnt Jacket peninsula in the Moosehead Lake region.
A camp owner in the remote area notified a manager of McPherson Timberlands that someone had breached a company gate and there was only one vehicle track leading into the property. The manager contacted Greenville Police Chief Jeff Pomerleau.
“This is a perfect case of what we preach — if it looks suspicious or sounds suspicious, call us,” Pomerleau said Tuesday.
Pomerleau said he solicited help from the Maine Warden Service, and Wardens Eric Dauphinee, Troy Dauphinee and Mike Favreau responded. The wardens found five male juveniles who were stranded in a Dodge Caravan that was stuck in mud on the road, he said.
The juveniles, ages 17 and 18 and all from Lebanon, told the wardens they had been visiting a relative’s camp and had become stuck on the road on their way out, according to Pomerleau.
What made the wardens suspicious of the juveniles is that they had called a parent and a friend from Lebanon to help them rather than someone local, the police chief said. In addition, they could provide only a last name for the person whose camp they had visited.
Warden Troy Dauphinee left the group and followed the tracks left by the vehicle to a camp that had been burglarized.
When Pomerleau arrived soon after, he and Warden Favreau went to check on other camps on the Greenville end of the Burnt Jacket area, while Greenville Officer Matt Guilfoyle and Warden Eric Dauphinee remained behind with the juveniles. Pomerleau said he and Favreau found five other camps that had been burglarized. The burglars forced their way into the camps through doors or windows, he said.
Several bottles of liquor that police said were evidence in connection to the break-ins were seized from the van, according to Pomerleau.
Pomerleau said two of the 17-year-olds in the van admitted to breaking into the camps. The two were summoned on burglary charges and released.
More charges may be pending, and others who were in the van may be charged as the investigation continues, Pomerleau said. He said there was a rash of burglaries in Piscataquis County over the weekend that may have been connected.
Police are working with camp owners to determine what, besides the alcohol, was stolen from the camps in the Burnt Jacket area.