June 21, 2018
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Chef charged after allegedly trying to break into cash register at Ellsworth restaurant

By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A former chef is in hot water, accused of wrecking a cash register at the restaurant Simone’s at 59 Franklin Street.

Police say Benjamin Lam “intentionally damaged a cash register” at Simone’s on Feb. 1. He was working as the restaurant’s chef at the time, but has since been let go, according to Simone’s owner Samm Osage.

According to Lt. Harold Page of the Ellsworth Police Department, Lam had been trying to pry the register open, with little success. Osage said security footage shows Lam trying to open the cash drawer with a knife.

Page said it was unclear whether Lam was attempting to steal money from the register. He also said there was video evidence of Lam attempting to pry the register open, but that the suspect has denied doing anything wrong.

Simone’s estimated damage to the cash machine at $300, according to a police report.

Lam was summoned Tuesday by Officer Barton Tokas on a charge of criminal mischief, a Class D crime punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Osage said the restaurant already has hired a replacement chef. Lam is scheduled to appear in Ellsworth District Court on March 19.

Follow Mario Carmine Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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