Suspect in Orrington gun-shop theft makes bail

Posted Sept. 01, 2010, at 8:47 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Winterport man facing federal charges in connection with a break-in and theft last month at an Orrington gun shop was released Wednesday on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Brandon Caparotta, 19, of Winterport was charged Friday along with Tyler Damon, 18, of Brewer with theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer and possession of stolen guns.

Damon’s first court appearance has not been set.

His cousin Corey Ryan Damon, 19, of Millinocket was charged last week in federal court with theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer. He has not been charged with possession of stolen guns.

Corey Damon’s first appearance in federal court has not been scheduled. He is being held at the Penobscot County Jail on $10,000 cash bail on state charges related to the break-in.

He remained Wednesday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make bail on the state charges of burglary, theft, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle and refusing to submit to arrest.

The trio is charged in connection with the burglary at the Mill Creek Rod & Gun shop early on the morning of Aug. 23. Caparotta allegedly acted as lookout while Corey Damon broke into the store.

Law enforcement officials recovered a large number of guns from an Orrington home where Corey Damon dropped them off shortly after the burglary, according to court documents.

The owner of the Orrington gun shop was alerted to the burglary by the barking of Buddy, the family dog. Don Barrett, who has operated the gun shop in the basement of his home on Mill Creek Road for 30 years, was awakened by the Jack Russell terrier about 2:45 a.m. Aug. 23.

A few minutes later, he found the door to his shop open and three Winchester rifles on the floor. Barrett told police he saw a car and a truck leaving the scene.

While investigating the burglary, Maine state Trooper Christopher Hashey learned a truck had gone off Wiswell Road in Brewer. The truck, which was being driven by Corey Damon, was reported stolen from Corinth, and there was a motorcycle reported stolen from Winterport in the bed of the truck, according to police.

The Damons were arrested a few hours after the burglary on charges related to the stolen truck and taken to the Penobscot County Jail, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. Caparotta was arrested on Aug. 26.

Tyler Damon, who was charged in state court with unauthorized use of a vehicle, has been released on bail, according to jail personnel.

In all, a dozen of the 22 recovered guns were traced to the Orrington gun shop. The rest were taken from a Millinocket residence during an earlier break-in, according to the affidavit.

If convicted on the federal charge of theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer, each man faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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