April 25, 2018
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Bangor woman charged in connection with exchange scheme at Walmart

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

Bangor police arrested a local woman last week after reviews of video surveillance footage from Walmart indicated that she was “returning” stolen merchandise in exchange for gift cards.

Amanda Lee Balsdon, 35, who was arrested on March 9, is facing three felony theft charges as well as a charge of driving without a license, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday, citing arrest reports.

According to Edwards, loss prevention staff from Walmart had been keeping an eye on Balsdon for some time before calling upon Officers Doug Smith and Kyle Pelkey, who are members of Bangor Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team, to look at surveillance images on March 1.

In one of the alleged thefts, Balsdon reportedly left the store with stolen merchandise in a bag hidden on her person, Edward said. She later returned to the store to exchange the items, receiving a gift card worth $101, he said.

Balsdon was arrested last week by Bangor police Sgt. Catherine Rumsey at the intersection of Center and Cumberland streets, according to an arrest listing issued Monday by Penobscot County Jail.

Court listings in the Bangor Daily News archives show that in 2009, Balsdon served jail time for a bail violation and two counts of theft, and in 2008 was fined $250 for theft.

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A Bangor man and his girlfriend both were arrested after Bangor police were asked to look into a report of an assault.

The episode that led to the arrests of Nicole Footman, 28, and Robert Trottier, 22, who live at separate Bangor addresses, began early on the evening of March 8, when Bangor police officers were called to Footman’s home to investigate an alleged assault.

When Bangor police Officers Brandon Vafiades and Tim Shaw arrived, Trottier told them he’d been punched by his best friend, who fled on foot, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said, citing police reports. Though Trottier was bleeding from the mouth, Edwards said, the officers didn’t buy the story.

Upon searching Footman’s home, the officers found a white powdery substance in plain view in a bedroom. They also found  50 hypodermic needles, most of them unused, and prescription pills in an unlabeled pill bottle in the residence, Edwards said.

He said the couple would not tell police what kind of pills they were but said that both claimed to have been issued prescriptions they were unable to produce, he said.

Because Trottier was on probation at the time, his probation officer was consulted and recommended that Trottier be held at Penobscot County Jail. In addition to the bail violation, Trottier was charged with possession of scheduled drugs and with assaulting his girlfriend, who showed signs of injury but did not require a visit to the emergency room, Edwards said.

Footman, who was wanted on a warrant, also was arrested. She was charged with unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and illlegal possession of hypodermic apparatus, Edwards said.

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A man with Arizona identification who recently moved to Brewer was arrested last Thursday after fleeing the Hannaford supermarket on Union Street with stolen goods.

Bangor police Officers Jason Stuart and Steve Jordan were sent to the area to search for the suspect, but Maine State Police Trooper David Yankowsky, who was in the vicinity and had heard radio reports about the episode, spotted him first and caught him on the Griffin Road side of the Airport Mall, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.

Edwards said Eric Floyd, 37, was identified as the suspect shown in surveillance images and placed under arrest. He was charged with theft after police found two Oral B toothbrushes, one valued at $24.99 and the other at $22.99, in his possession.

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Bangor police charged a local man with theft Sunday afternoon after employees at Shaw’s on Main Street reportedly caught him swapping price tags on mushrooms and other items, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.

Charged in connection with the matter was David Lavoie, 57, Edwards said. Lavoie was not arrested, he said.

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A county detective caught one of three juvenile males suspected of breaking a window Sunday afternoon at one of the entrances of the Airport Mall.

After allegedly breaking the window, the trio took off running up Union Street, where Detective Rick Canarr of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department caught up with one of them, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday. After he was charged with criminal mischief, the teenager was released to a family member.

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