Suspect in Washington County burglary spree now in custody after standoff

Posted Sept. 05, 2012, at 5:33 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 10, 2012, at 10:07 a.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Michael J. Mackenzie, 32, was arrested early Wednesday morning at the home of a friend in Washington County’s Indian Township on charges of burglary and theft related to a three-month series of break-ins at homes and businesses in and around the communities of Topsfield, Alexander and Robbinston.

Mackenzie is being held at the Washington County Jail and is expected to appear Thursday at a bail hearing. The investigation into the break-ins associated with his arrest is ongoing, according to Lt. Travis Willey of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

“We do believe there are more persons than Mr. Mackenzie involved,” Willey said Wednesday afternoon. “But he seems to be the common factor in all these break-ins. I anticipate we will be speaking with other suspects and witnesses in the next few days.”

Mackenzie was being sought on an arrest warrant obtained by the Calais Police Department. He was taken into custody after what Willey said was a nearly three-hour standoff at the home of a former girlfriend. A car identified as belonging to Mackenzie’s mother was seen parked at the residence. After the house was surrounded by law enforcement personnel just before midnight, Mackenzie was contacted by phone. He eventually was persuaded to surrender, Willey said.

“All of these break-ins were drug-related,” Willey said, with cash and jewelry and other personal items being stolen to buy drugs. “Mr. Mackenzie is a convicted felon and did prison time for burglary and theft. He is on probation and is very well known to law enforcement, given his criminal career.”

Willey said Mackenzie’s arrest was the result of a coordinated investigation by his department and by the Maine State Police, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Baileyville and Indian Township police departments.

“It’s taken a lot of man-hours to put all this together,” he said.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story incorrectly named the town of Robbinston as Robinson. Michael Mackenzie, 32, of Alexander was arrested on Sept. 5 on an outstanding warrant for burglary and theft in Washington County’s Indian Township, not Union Township as originally reported. Assisting the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation that resulted in Mackenzie’s arrest were the Maine State Police, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Baileyville and Indian Township police departments.

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