Woman arrested for breaking into legislator’s home, Waterville police say

Jessica Savage
Jessica Savage
Posted April 19, 2012, at 2:03 p.m.
Last modified April 19, 2012, at 5:45 p.m.
Richard Rice
Richard Rice

WATERVILLE, Maine — A Waterville transient was arrested after breaking into the Pleasant Street home of a state legislator and stealing several items, including a handgun, according to police.

Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said Thursday that Jessica Savage, 31, broke into the house just after noon Wednesday and took a laptop computer, a .22-caliber handgun and several credit cards.

Rumsey said the home belongs to Democratic Rep. Thomas Longstaff and his wife, Cindy, who called 911 after she discovered Savage had broken into the home.

“She saw a laptop was missing which had been on a desk inside the home,” Rumsey said.

The deputy chief said Savage had left behind a sweatshirt and a backpack. After calling 911, Cindy Longstaff left the home for a short period. When she returned home, the sweatshirt and backpack were gone, Rumsey said.

Longstaff next asked a couple walking in the area whether they had seen anybody, and they told her they had seen a woman with a backpack and sweatshirt walking down School Street.

Rumsey said it turned out to be Savage, and Longstaff not only called police, but also approached the suspect and took the laptop back.

“When [Savage] realized [Longstaff] was on the phone with police, she fled,” Rumsey said.

Longstaff was able to provide police the direction that Savage was running, and Officers Galen Estes and Dennis Picard wound up detaining her on Belmont Avenue. Officer Jennifer Weaver took Longstaff back to the scene.

Rumsey said the handgun that was taken from the home was not loaded. He said Savage also took some credit cards.

“We thought it was a pretty great effort by Mrs. Longstaff ,who had the forethought to call us and go out and find this person,” Rumsey said.

When police took Savage to the station, she claimed that a man abused her and forced her to break into the Longstaffs’ home against her will, according to Rumsey.

Savage did have bruises and scratches on her body, and police obtained an arrest warrant for Richard Rice, 48, of Waterville and took him into custody at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. He is facing charges of terrorizing and domestic assault.

Savage claimed that Rice threw her down a flight of stairs at his apartment, according to Rumsey.

Savage, who was taken to the Kennebec County Jail, is facing a Class B burglary charge. She also was charged with theft by unauthorized taking and possession of a firearm by a felon, both Class C offenses.

Police are attempting to determine whether the incident is related to a pair of burglaries last week, in which a cash drawer was stolen from a Dunkin’ Donuts and a cash register taken from a convenience store, according to Rumsey.

“We’re going to look at this and see if there may be any connections between previous crimes and this crime,” he said.

Savage’s first court appearance is scheduled for July 10 in Kennebec County Superior Court, and her bail was set at $1,500 cash. Rice is due in Waterville District Court on July 3. He was released on $700 unsecured bail after his arrest.

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