Anonymous tipster leads police to teen underage drinkers

Posted July 27, 2012, at 4:09 p.m.

BATH, Maine — A new texting service that lets people provide anonymous tips to police regarding illegal and unsafe activities led to two teens getting charged with alcohol offenses Tuesday night.

The Bath Police Department received one of the “Tip-Soft” tips at 8:35 p.m. Tuesday alerting police that there was an underage drinking party taking place in the woods behind the Bath YMCA, according to Chief Deputy Brett Strout of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department. Bath officers responded to the area but the people had moved on.

The tip provided some names of the people involved, Strout said, and shortly after 10 p.m., Deputy Matt Shiers located a group of young people by the Puffin Stop at the end of Congress Avenue and North Street, including one of the people mentioned in the tip.

As he approached the teens, “they hid on him,” Strout said. He located them behind the cemetery office off North Street.

As the Bath Police Department responded to help Shiers investigate, one of the teens, 19-year-old Robert Coombs of 79 Denny Road, allegedly became belligerent and was arrested by Shiers. He was charged with disorderly conduct and issued a summons for illegal possession of alcohol by a minor by consumption.

A 16-year-old male from Bath was also issued a summons by Bath Police Department for possession of alcohol by a minor, according to Lt. Stan Cielinski, and his juvenile community corrections officer was contacted. Another juvenile female from Bath, age 14, was given a ride home.

Strout said Thursday the tip was a good use of the TipSoft program.

“We’re tickled to death it’s being used and we do find it helpful,” Strout said, “and we look forward to having more benefit from it.”

The system was launched in April for the Sagadahoc County and Cumberland County sheriff’s departments and Brunswick, Bath, Richmond, Topsham and Phippsburg police departments to participate in. To text message a tip, send “eTip” along with your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), download the free TipSubmit Mobile app for Android or iPhones or submit a tip online at midcoastcasa.org.

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