EXETER, Maine — Five vehicles and four homes in Exeter and another vehicle in Stetson were burglarized between midnight and 5 a.m. Thursday, police said.
“It certainly was a spree,” said Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. William Sheehan. “Residents were home at the time some of the houses were burglarized and some residences were unoccupied at the time. There are some people who are extremely frightened, knowing people broke into their homes and were inside when they were present.”
Sheehan said Deputy Ed Toulouse is the primary officer on the case, which two detectives and three deputies are currently working on through the department’s Criminal Investigative Division. The sheriff’s department is also working with Maine State Police on the case.
“We’re actively working the investigation and have recovered some property already, but any help that can be provided by the public would be greatly appreciated,” Sheehan said.
While all of the vehicles burglarized were unlocked, some of the homes were locked and still broken into.
“Deputy Toulouse first got called out at 5 a.m. yesterday [Thursday] for a motor vehicle burglary and as he started investigating, we discovered more and more of them,” said Sheehan.
The vehicles and homes affected were on Greenbush Road in Exeter and Stetson Road in Stetson. Sheehan wouldn’t specify what kind of items were taken other than to confirm that valuables and money were stolen.
“We’re not sure if it’s one suspect or multiple suspects, but we believe there was a motor vehicle involved,” said Sheehan.
Sheehan said there has been a noticeable surge in burglaries — home and vehicle — over the last few years.
“Definitely, we’re seeing that. This has been going on much more often the last few years,” Sheehan said. “Burglaries have really skyrocketed.”
Sheehan said Corinna, in particular, has seen an uncharacteristic increase.
“The last few weeks it’s been a hotbed for burglaries, and the Greenbush Road connects Corinna to Exeter,” he said.
He said the nature of the burglaries seems to be changing as well.
“It used to be one group would come in, clean house, and you’d catch them and that would be it,” Sheehan explained. “Now it seems like there are so many groups of people out there committing burglaries. And usually it’s multijurisdictional and crossing county lines.”
Anyone who might have information regarding the burglaries is asked to call tips into Penobscot Regional Communications Center at 945-4636 or leave them online at http://www.penobscot-sheriff.net/comments.htm. Tips can be made anonymously either way.