May 21, 2018
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Milbridge pair accused of stealing copper from former IGA after traffic stop

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Two Washington County men accused of stealing copper piping from a former supermarket in Columbia are facing multiple criminal charges, according to police.

Randall Lee Brackett Jr., and Luke Aaron Smith, both 27 and from Milbridge, were arrested by Maine State Police in Dedham on Jan. 23. Trooper David Barnard said Wednesday that he had stopped a Pontiac Grand Am being driven on Route 1A by Smith on suspicion of speeding when he noticed a large pile of copper piping in the vehicle’s back seat. Upon further investigation, he said, more piping was found in the trunk of the vehicle. Brackett was a passenger in the car.

Barnard said he does not know exactly how much piping was in the car. The two men were driving toward Bangor when they were stopped, he said.

“They were headed to a scrap yard,” the trooper said.

Barnard declined to say how fast Smith was driving when he stopped the Grand Am. He said that he arrested the two men after questioning them.

The trooper said the piping was taken from the now-empty IGA supermarket space at the Four Corners shopping center on Route 1 in Columbia a day or so before he stopped Smith’s car. He said he is not sure how much damage may have been done to the former supermarket when the piping was removed.

Barnard said said Sgt. Timothy Tabbutt of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the original theft complaint. An attempt Wednesday afternoon to contact Tabbutt was unsuccessful.

According to Hancock County Jail records, Smith is facing charges of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property. Brackett is facing the same charges plus violation of bail and giving a false name to police. At the time of his arrest, Brackett also was wanted on a warrant for unpaid restitution.

Officer Amy Smith of Hancock County Jail indicated Wednesday that the two men each have since been released on $1,000 cash bail. They are expected to appear on the charges in Hancock County Superior Court on March 21, she said.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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