PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Bridgewater man was convicted on Friday on a charge connected to a joy ride he took on equipment owned by a logging company.
According to a statement Sunday from the Maine Forest Service, Louis Finemore, 27, pleaded guilty to theft by unauthorized use of property in Presque Isle District Court.
Forest service Lt. Bill Greaves said that Finemore had obtained an equipment key and used it to drive a skidder and a delimber at an operation on the Number 9 Road in Township D Range 2. The pieces of equipment were parked at an active logging operation and were owned by Robin Crawford Logging Co. of Lincoln.
Greaves said the agency began investigating several complaints of logging vandalism and thefts of Aroostook County logging equipment before the incident with Finemore. Greaves said that forest rangers had been conducting surveillance operations on several of the areas having problems. It was during this surveillance and after doing interviews with several people that Finemore became a suspect and subsequently was charged.
None of the equipment operated by Finemore was damaged. He was fined $300 for the theft.
Greaves said the department has seen a lot of success recently, catching thieves stealing batteries, fuel and tools from remote logging operations.
Ranger Steve Wipperman, the Forest Protection Division’s forensic specialist, was the lead investigator on the case. He said that charges are pending against others who are involved in a series of thefts this winter.