Howland man recognized in surveillance video, charged in robbery

Posted April 15, 2013, at 12:54 p.m.

ENFIELD, Maine — A deputy sheriff’s recognition of a suspect on a surveillance video led to the arrest of a Howland man in connection with a convenience store robbery and the return of stolen money early Monday.

Brett Doane, 19, of Howland was charged about 1 a.m. Monday with robbery and violation of bail conditions. He was being held without bail at Penobscot County Jail, a jail spokesman said.

Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Patty McLaughlin said she recognized Doane when police reviewed a surveillance videotape at Bridge Street Market, 33 Bridge St., shortly after a worker there reported a robbery, said Sgt. James Kennedy of the Sheriff’s Department.

The worker reported that a man wearing a handkerchief over his face walked into the store about 8:20 p.m. Sunday, said he had a weapon but did not display it, and told her to open the cash register, Kennedy said.

The employee complied, and the man took $200 to $300 cash from the register and from a locked box underneath the store’s front counter before running away, Kennedy said.

State police, Lincoln police and sheriff’s deputies set up roadblocks and stopped traffic at several intersections, including Bridge and Emerson streets, as Trooper Barry Meserve and his tracking dog, Zorro, followed what the dog indicated was the robbery suspect’s scent northwest to an area of Old County Road North, Kennedy said. The sudden absence of scent and other evidence indicated that the robber had gotten into a car and fled.

It was about this time that McLaughlin said she recognized Doane on the tape, Kennedy said.

McLaughlin “does a great job up there,” Kennedy said. “She solved other burglaries that have taken place in the Enfield area and I believe she solved an attempted burglary at the store and a burglary at another store about a month ago.”

“She works that area and is very familiar with the players in that area,” Kennedy added.

Sheriff’s Department Detective John Trask interviewed Doane at his house and said that the 19-year-old confessed to the robbery. Trask found the stolen cash and returned it, Kennedy said.

A former Lee Academy baseball and soccer player, Doane was out on bail on several burglary charges, Kennedy said.

Sheriff’s deputies do not believe the suspect had accomplices, Kennedy said. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call deputies at 945-4636. All calls will be kept confidential.

The robbery was the first reported at the store since Feb. 12, 2012, when a man with his hands in his pockets entered the market but then pointed at the clerk demanding money, state police have said. No weapon was displayed.

That robbery remains unsolved.

Investigators see no connection between that robbery and Sunday’s, Kennedy said.

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