LINCOLN, Maine – Police Chief William Lawrence on Tuesday said help from a local pawnshop was crucial to two people being charged in connection with thefts of goods, totaling $12,000 in value, from three homes.
Joseph Allen of Lincoln was charged on Dec. 1 with felony theft and a woman Lawrence described as Allen’s girlfriend, Katie Smith of Lincoln, received a summons for theft. Their ages were not immediately available, Lawrence said.
Police sought the two after residents at homes on White Point Estates Road, Aldridge Point Road and Narrow Way identified the suspects on Nov. 30 in connection with the thefts, which occurred several days earlier, Lawrence said.
Beth Enochs, co-owner of Lincoln Trading and Pawn at 29 West Broadway, said workers at her store helped identify the suspects when the owners of the stolen goods saw the items in her shop.
Smith, Lawrence said, is a daughter of one of the victims. The stolen items included jewelry, firearms, a chain saw and a wide-screen television, he said.
Police became involved when Officer Mark Fucile responded to a complaint from one of the homeowners that the stolen items were at Lincoln Trading. The store’s computerized records helped identify the suspects, Lawrence said.
“They run a legitimate business,” Lawrence said. “They are licensed to do their pawn business, and we have a good relationship with them.”
About 90 percent of the stolen items were recovered. Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call police at 794-8455, Lawrence said.
The pawnshop has helped police handle six to eight burglary or theft complaints in the last few years, Lawrence said.
Enochs said she likes to help police.
“Besides the joy of helping stop people who break into other people’s homes and steal their belongings,” she said, “it maybe helps them [thieves] to think, ‘Well, jeez, if I bring something stolen in here, there’s a pretty good chance I am going to get caught.’”
Allen posted bail at the Penobscot County Jail on Dec. 3 and is due in the Penobscot County Judicial Center on Feb. 5, a jail worker said Monday. Information on the bail Allen posted was not available.