GOULDSBORO, Maine — A man who was a co-defendant with another man in a burglary at a former local naval property has been sentenced to serve six months behind bars.
Justin M. Landeen, 28, of Gouldsboro was charged with burglary and theft in the April 2012 incident, as was fellow Gouldsboro resident Earle Covert Cowperthwaite. The value of the stolen items was estimated by police at only between $5 and $10.
Cowperthwaite, 58, recently was sentenced to serve concurrent sentences of six months in jail for the burglary conviction and 60 days for the theft conviction. He began serving his sentence on Jan. 3.
Cowperthwaite, a former mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, has a prior theft conviction from 2000 for stealing women’s underwear and packages he was supposed to deliver in Gouldsboro.
Landeen pleaded guilty on Dec. 21 to burglary and theft charges stemming from the April 2012 incident and began serving his sentence at Hancock County Jail on Jan. 7. Landeen received concurrent sentences of six months for the burglary charge, 60 days for the theft charge, and 30 days for a charge of violating conditions of release, according to court documents.
The documents indicate that Landeen and Cowperthwaite were caught by police as they were removing wiring and piping from a building on the former Navy property in the local village of Corea. The property is now owned by Eastern Maine Development Corp. Stories previously published in the Bangor Daily News incorrectly indicated that the building that had been burglarized was a house.
Officer Jeffrey Turcotte of Gouldsboro Police Department wrote in a description of the incident that, while he was on routine patrol, he decided to go check on the former Naval property.
“There have been numerous instances of theft from the [former] base in recent years so it’s common to check the area,” Turcotte wrote.
The officer wrote that as he pulled up to the building, he came upon a pickup truck parked outside and Landeen and Cowperthwaite walking nearby. In the back of the truck were pieces of wiring and piping, he added.
According to Turcotte, Landeen said he had been on the property not long before with his son and had not seen any ‘no trespassing’ signs on the property. Landeen also told the officer that the buildings were open so anyone could enter.
“Most doors to the buildings on the property have been pried open by past thieves and don’t close properly,” Turcotte wrote in the report.
Landeen and Cowperthwaite admitted to Turcotte that they had taken the piping and wiring that was in the back of the truck out of the former Naval building, according to the police officer.
“The value of the materials is approximately $5 to $10,” Turcotte wrote.
Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.