Two Maine children taken into state custody while police question man about burglary

Posted June 12, 2012, at 6:33 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — A Berwick couple was charged with endangering the welfare of a child while local police were questioning the couple in connection with a burglary of their neighbor’s house.

On June 4, a burglary was committed at an Ali Pond Road residence after an unknown number of suspects entered the home through an unlocked window during the evening and stole electronics, gaming systems and games, and jewelry.

The residents expressed concerns to police that their neighbor, 22-year-old James Brooks, may have committed the burglary.

On June 7, Detective Bill Russell went to Brooks’ home on Ali Pond Road to question him. Brooks’ girlfriend, 25-year-old Natasha Oelschlager, answered the door for police. When questioning Brooks, Russell noticed the dirty condition of the home including the presence of trash, bugs and excessive belongings throughout the residence.

Russell also noticed there were two young children in the home. Russell, who said the home was in the worst condition he’s ever seen, also said he was able to gain a confession from Brooks for the burglary of his neighbor’s house, as well as take the two children into protective custody. Eventually the children were taken away from the couple and placed in state custody.

Brooks and Oelschlager were each charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. Both will appear for these charges at District Court on Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. Brooks will be arraigned on the felony burglary charge on Aug. 7 at 8:30 a.m.

Russell said he doesn’t believe Brooks is connected to another burglary that occurred on Bell Street on June 2, although similar items were stolen during the crime and the unknown number of suspects used a similar form of entry into the home.

According to Russell, Berwick Police are looking for the public’s help and asking them to remain vigilant. Any suspicious activity or tips can be phoned into the Berwick Police Department at 207-698-1136, attention Russell.

(c)2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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