POLICE BEAT

Bangor police find theft suspect hiding in Dumpster

Posted March 02, 2011, at 9:02 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Police arrested a Levant woman suspected of stealing from Kohl’s department store Tuesday night after a police tracking dog reportedly followed her scent trail to a Dumpster in a nearby residential area.

The woman’s son and his girlfriend, also of Levant, also were charged in connection with the incident, Bangor police Sgt. Chip Hodges said Wednesday, citing several police reports.

The episode that led to the arrest of Ernestine Chubbuck, 43, began shortly before 10 p.m. when city police fielded a call from a Kohl’s employee reporting that a woman later identified as Chubbuck had fled the store on foot. A Kohl’s loss prevention officer chased her through the Bangor Parkade parking lot but lost sight of her after she managed to make her way to a nearby residential neighborhood.

Officer Kevin Haefele was sent to the area to search for the suspect but could not locate her and returned to the Stillwater Avenue shopping center, where he found two people who had been with Chubbuck before she ran away — Chubbuck’s son Elton Edson, 25, and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Jane Hallowell, who had their baby with them, Hodges said.

Hodges said the couple, who were outside of another store in the shopping center, identified the woman who had fled as Chubbuck. He said the couple returned to Kohl’s with Haefele.

A review of surveillance footage led to theft charges against Edson, who allegedly admitted taking a scarf, and for Hallowell, who reportedly confessed to taking a sweater. The pair were not arrested. Hodges said Edson also was charged with possession of marijuana after a usable amount of the substance was found on his person.

Meanwhile,  Haefele called for Officer Rob Angelo, who brought his tracking dog to the area. Officer John Robinson also assisted, Hodges said.

The dog reportedly led police to a Dumpster in which Chubbuck was hiding. Hodges said the trash receptacle was “fairly empty” at the time. Merchandise and price tags from Kohl’s, mostly clothing, were found atop a trash bag. Angelo and Robinson brought Chubbuck back to the store where she was identified as the alleged shoplifter who fled.

In addition to theft, Chubbuck was charged with violating the conditions of her bail from a prior arrest, Hodges said. The Bangor Daily News archives show that Chubbuck paid a $250 fine for theft in December and a $500 fine in September for driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

After her arrest, Chubbuck was taken to Penobscot County Jail, where she remained Wednesday night.

Because neither Edson nor Hallowell had a valid driver’s license, police had the car they all arrived in towed to the city’s impound lot.

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