Two arrested in Washington County linked to 40 burglary victims

Posted June 11, 2010, at 4:16 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — A joint investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine State Police has uncovered a major home burglary and theft operation that covers at least five counties. Nearly 40 victims were identified, according to Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith, and the case was cracked open earlier this month when a citizen provided a tip.

The property recovered includes wood splitters, generators, outboards, tools, a boat and other items. Some of the property has been returned to the owners.

Randy Millay, 42, of Machiasport and Richard “Twitch” Merritt, 53, of Thorndike are cooperating suspects, Smith said. Merritt has been charged by both law enforcement agencies for theft and Merritt is being held at the Washington County Jail on an unrelated charge.

So far during the investigation a significant amount of stolen property — valued in excess of $20,000 — has been recovered.

Smith said the investigation continues and the case likely will be linked to other, similar crimes.

With these arrests, burglary and theft complaints have been solved from northern Washington County all the way to central Waldo County, he said.

The investigation continues, and Smith urged anyone with information on these or related cases to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 255-4422.

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