PEMBROKE, Maine — A local man accused of stealing diesel fuel from logging vehicles has been charged with theft by unlawful taking following a weeklong investigation by state forest rangers.
Daniel F. Trott, 30, of Pembroke will be arraigned in Calais District Court on March 5 after being charged on Monday by the rangers from the Maine Forest Service based out of Jonesboro. Trott is accused of stealing 15 gallons of diesel fuel from logging vehicles parked on a woodlot in Pembroke.
“There have been a number of these thefts in the Pembroke, Northfield and Prescott areas,” said Jeff Currier, the regional forest ranger who oversees activities in southern Washington County as well Hancock, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. “We discovered some evidence at one of these job sites that resulted in the charge that was filed.
“We’ve had a rash of complaints, and some sites have been hit several times,” he said. “It’s hard for a contractor to know how much fuel was taken, but in all of these cases collectively we’re talking about hundreds of gallons. With some of these thefts people are using the diesel stolen themselves, while others may be turning around and reselling it.”
Currier said the Maine Forest Service takes such thefts and vandalism of logging equipment seriously and that rangers actively patrol logging sites on weekends and holidays, when loggers aren’t on site.
“This is one of things that is very frustrating for loggers, who work hard and work on razor-thin margins,” Currier said. “With diesel now selling for over $4 a gallon, even the loss of 15 gallons, as in this case, is significant. Overall we’re looking at the loss of hundreds of gallons at a time when diesel prices have spiked.
“Unfortunately, there may be more of these thefts,” he said. “Hopefully the summons issued yesterday with deter other folks from doing this sort of foolishness.”