MACHIAS, Maine — The Washington County grand jury indicted 15 people on Sept. 15, including a Massachusetts man accused of burglarizing a downtown merchant in broad daylight, a couple charged with stealing another person’s identity and a man who fled from police in handcuffs.
Richard L. Griffin, 57, of Danvers, Mass., was indicted on a Class B robbery charge, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison; burglary; theft by unauthorized taking; operating under the influence and violation of conditions of release.
According to Machias police, on Aug. 24 Griffin climbed into a storage building used by and located directly across the street from Main Street Discount. Griffin then opened a side garage door and began loading up his pickup truck, police said.
Sylvia Pouliot, co-owner of the store, told police that she confronted the man as he was loading furniture, chain saws, lawn equipment and other items into his truck.
Pouliot, 65, told the Bangor Daily News that when the man got in his truck to drive off, she stood in front of it and held on to the hood with both arms extended. She said she then had to jump out of the way as Griffin drove away.
Within an hour after he fled from the scene, Griffin was caught on a woods road off Route 192 by Washington County Deputy Keith York.
Also indicted last week was Aaron Shaun Avery, 23, of Lubec, who led police on a foot chase around Lubec on the night of July 7 after he allegedly damaged a local bank ATM. Avery was already in handcuffs when he escaped from police custody and ran off. He was loose for between 45 minutes and an hour, during which he was sprayed by a skunk and bitten often by mosquitoes, police reported.
A Machias couple, Royce Richards, 39, and his wife, Jessica Richards, 33, were indicated on ten counts each — two counts of theft by unauthorized taking and eight counts of misuse of identification. The charges involve a case of identity theft and more than $1,000 worth of charges to another person’s credit card, according to police.
Others indicted were:
Andrew Townsend, Jr., 22, of South Paris, burglary, theft by unauthorized taking and criminal trespass.
Lorisa McKenney, 41, of Addison, theft.
Anthony W. Merchant, 51, of Addison, burglary and theft by unauthorized taking.
Bradford S. Preston, Jr., 24, of Perry, theft by unauthorized taking.
Oliver Lockhart, 48, of Princeton, operation after revocation.
Jeremy Pottle, 31, of Calais, violation of condition of release.
Ben Lyons, 35, of Trescott, burglary, two counts of theft by unauthorized taking and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
Richard Drost, 37, of North Sullivan, operating after revocation.
Eric Buck, 30, of Machias, operating after revocation and violation of condition of release.
Jonathan L. Johnson, 28, of Addison, two counts of unlawful possession of drugs.
Joshua C. Beal, 26, of Milbridge, assault on an officer.