Levant man charged with stealing bouquets after applying for a job at same store

Posted April 22, 2011, at 10:37 p.m.
Last modified April 24, 2011, at 9:50 a.m.

HERMON, Maine — A Levant man suspected of stealing flowers Friday from Danforth’s Down Home Supermarket  made it easy for police to track him down.

Before leaving the store shortly before 1 p.m. with two bouquets valued at about $25 that he reportedly did not pay for, Frederick Cole, 29, filled out a job application that included, among other things, his name, telephone number and address, Deputy Jay Hallett of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said Friday night.

A customer who witnessed the incident alerted a store employee, who called the police, Hallett said. He said a review of surveillance footage bore out the theft complaint.

When Hallett and Deputy Edward Toulouse went to Cole’s residence on Rugosa Lane, they found the flowers in Cole’s kitchen. Cole told them a friend had paid for them with a credit card but when officers contacted her, she told them she hadn’t spoken with Cole in about a year.

According to Hallett, Cole said the flowers were for his girlfriend, who accompanied him to Hermon but had remained in the car while he was in the grocery store.

The incident led to some awkward moments, Hallett said. While police were questioning Cole about his claim that a woman had paid for the flowers, Cole reportedly indicated that he preferred they drop the subject while in his girlfriend’s presence.

Hallett said the flowers were seized, photographed and returned to the store. Employees said one of the bouquets was still in good enough shape to sell but that the other was not.

Cole, who was not arrested, was charged with theft, Hallett said.

(Dawn Gagnon, BDN)

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