June 23, 2018
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Belfast man arrested after resident recognizes news picture

Waldo County Jail | BDN
Waldo County Jail | BDN
Ben Rankin, photo courtesy of waldo county jail
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — Police woke a man sleeping on a couch Tuesday morning to arrest him on outstanding warrants related to thefts in two counties.

Benjamin Rankin, 21, of Belfast is charged with three counts of theft, two counts of robbery, one count of burglary and three counts of forgery out of Hancock and Waldo counties, according to authorities. He also faces three charges of violating conditions of release, one charge of refusing to submit to arrest and one charge of operating after revocation, according to the Maine Bureau of Identification. The crimes all were alleged to have occurred between June 3 and Sept. 13.

Rankin remained incarcerated Tuesday afternoon in Waldo County Jail on $10,000 cash bail on the charges out of Hancock County and $500 cash bail on the charges out of Waldo County. He likely will be transferred to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset by today, jail staff said.

Police found Rankin on Tuesday after someone heard a TV news report that he was wanted and called police, giving away the suspect’s location in Belfast.

The suspect is accused of taking, among other things, two flat-screen TVs and a pressure washer from a home in Brooksville in Hancock County on Sept. 13.

In Waldo County, “he stole a check from a relative that was staying at his mother’s residence,” Belfast police Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham said Tuesday.

Rankin then made the check out to himself for $500 and cashed it in Belfast on Sept. 11, Cunningham said.

The next day, Sept. 12, Rankin stole a check, made it out to himself and tried to cash it for $3,000 in Searsport, but he did not have an ID, so someone else had to cash it for him at a bank, according to Cunningham.

All of the alleged crimes violated conditions of his release from jail on a robbery conviction from 2007, for which he was still on probation, according to police.

More charges also are expected to be filed against Rankin, Cunningham said.

“This is his lifestyle,” the officer said, citing a lengthy criminal history that includes time served for theft and burglary.

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