DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Bruce Moore, 46, who is wanted in Maine on burglary and theft charges, was arrested early Saturday morning by Tennessee police and is being held in the Blunt County Jail awaiting extradition to Maine.
The former Greenville man is wanted on three outstanding warrants in Maine for probation violation and burglary and credit card theft and is also wanted for burglary and theft in New Hampshire and Louisiana.
Moore came to the attention of police last week when his estranged wife claimed that some items in a storage shed in Shirley had been stolen by Moore, who was then in Port Richey, Fla. Several thousand dollars’ worth of mostly new items were taken from the shed by deputies Thursday and were placed in a secure facility in Dover-Foxcroft.
Moore had been driving a 2008 Toyota pickup believed to have been stolen from a Bangor residence at the time of his arrest. In his possession, he had stolen credit cards, gift cards and jewelry that included a valuable 1971 Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl ring and a Mississippi state championship ring, according to investigator Alan Emerson of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
The Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department began tracking Moore’s movement from Florida last week to Georgia and on to Tennessee. Emerson, who declined to be specific about how Moore was being tracked, said the man had called his estranged wife in Greenville on Friday morning and allegedly threatened her with death, telling her he was returning to Maine to “take care” of her, Emerson said.
Things were kicked into high gear after that telephone call, according to Emerson. Moore arrived in Tennessee on Friday night. Emerson said he called the Townsend Police Department and the Blunt County Sheriff’s Department, who work cooperatively in that region. He also had contacted the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Chief Ronnie Suttles of the Townsend Police Department and his backup officer Frank Scearl found Moore at Highland Manor, a local inn, where he apparently had spent the night. Emerson said Suttles told him it appeared Moore had planned to stay in the area for a while because he had paid rent for 30 days.
Townsend is in eastern Tennesee about 35 miles south of Knoxville on the northern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Moore, who had told Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin late last week that he would die before he returned to prison, allegedly tried to get the officers to shoot him, Emerson said.
“When they first dealt with him, he was extremely uncooperative — he wanted the police to shoot him,” Emerson said he was told. They managed to talk with Moore and calm him down enough to arrest him, he said.
“I’ve never had any dealings with another [law enforcement] agency that actually acted on something this quickly,” Emerson said. “All we did was make a phone call down there, and they got somebody right on it. They [Suttles and Scearl] were super.”
In fact, so super that Emerson said he plans to show them Maine’s hospitality by sending them a lobster feed.
The stolen vehicle Moore was driving was impounded by Suttles.
Emerson believes Moore is facing at least five to seven years in prison on the three warrants. He may face more prison time if found guilty of burglary and theft in New Hampshire and Louisiana. Since Moore was driving a stolen vehicle, Tennessee police also are expected to press charges, he said.
Moore’s wife has not been charged, but the investigation is continuing, Emerson said.
BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.