Students find rifle in Lincoln high school parking lot

Posted Feb. 29, 2012, at 6:38 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Police believe that a car burglar who has been working town parking lots for weeks stole a hunting rifle from a Mattanawcook Academy student’s car before returning it to the school parking lot on Monday, Police Chief William Lawrence said Wednesday.

Students getting out of school reported finding the .30-06 rifle, which had a hunting scope, in the school lot at about 2:30 p.m., Lawrence said.

The student who owned the car told police that he had been target-shooting last weekend and forgot to remove the rifle from his vehicle before coming to school on Monday. He concealed the rifle in his car before going in to the school, Lawrence said.

However, several witnesses reported seeing a man burglarizing vehicles in the school parking lot several hours later. Police believe that the burglar stole the rifle from the student’s car and proceeded to drive his own vehicle into the Main Street area toward Lee, Lawrence said.

There, witnesses reported that the burglar turned away from police in that area because his vehicle’s inspection sticker had lapsed, returning to the school to dump the rifle in the parking lot, Lawrence said.

Investigators, Lawrence said, can find no link between the student and the burglar.

“All we know is that the student is a good student, there’s no record there. We are not seeing a connection between them at all,” Lawrence said Wednesday.

Police have the burglar’s license plate and vehicle description and continue to investigate, Lawrence said. Theft from a motor vehicle is a Class B felony.

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