BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine — Local police have arrested two Boothbay men for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 worth of items from a Bay Street residence last month.
Nicholas Wallace, 23, and Keith Brewer, 22, were arrested earlier this week without incident and each charged with Class B theft and Class B burglary, according to Boothbay Harbor Patrol Officer Jared Mitkus. The charges were elevated to felonies because the value of the stolen items exceeded $10,000. According to Maine law, Class B crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Officers were called to a residence on Bay Street on Thanksgiving morning after the homeowners arrived to find their house burglarized, Mitkus said. Several thousand dollars’ worth of property was taken, including cash, a coin collection, jewelry, electronics and some prescription medications. An expensive TAG Heuer watch taken from the residence turned up in Ohio with a person to whom it allegedly was sold. Mitkus said the recipient noticed a name and employer engraved on the watch — which Mitkus said originally was given to the victim for 10 years of service to an employer — and contacted the business.
Some of the other stolen items also have been recovered, including part of the coin collection, which Mitkus said had been sold to pawnshops in the Augusta area. The stolen laptop computer was in Wallace’s possession, the officer said. The stolen items have not yet been returned to the owner because they are considered evidence in the case.
Mitkus said the burglarized home had some damage, including a broken door where the burglars forced their way in and other minor damage inside.
Mitkus said Wallace and Brewer have been cooperative “to a certain point,” and that they allegedly stole the items primarily to feed their addictions to opiate drugs. Neither man has much of a criminal record, said Mitkus, other than an old criminal mischief conviction for Brewer.
The investigation has been active for several weeks and required a substantial amount of time to crack, according to Mitkus. Boothbay Harbor Police Department was aided in the process by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the Hallowell Police Department, the Summit County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Department — which was instrumental in making the connection between Brewer and the watch found in Ohio — and the North Olmsted (Ohio) Police Department.
Mitkus said he suspects the burglary occurred on Nov. 21, three days before Thanksgiving. Wallace and Brewer, both of whom have been released from Two Bridges Regional Jail on bail, face court dates of March 1 and March 29, respectively.