ROCKLAND, Maine — A Rockland man who refused to leave a neighbor’s home where he yelled at residents, is tied to a string of home burglaries on the other side of town.
Travis R. Dodge, 26, was arrested Saturday evening and charged with criminal trespassing after Rockland police twice went to Warren Street in the city’s north end because Dodge allegedly was being belligerent toward neighbors.
Initially, a neighbor said Dodge yelled at them because he had not received a piece of mail he was expecting, according to an affidavit filed by Rockland police in Rockland District Court. Police ordered Dodge to leave and he eventually went across the street to his house.
A short time later, however, police were called again because he was near the neighbor’s residence. Police arrested him for criminal trespassing, according to the affidavit.
In a separate investigation, police received complaints from two sets of homeowners on Mechanic Street in the south end of the city that someone broke into their homes and stole items.
The investigation found that Dodge, who mows the lawn of one of the residences, entered the homes earlier on Saturday before the incidents on Warren Street, police reported in their affidavit.
A witness spotted Dodge going into one of the homes even though the owners were not at home, saying he had to use the bathroom. When Dodge did not come out after about 15 minutes, the witness went inside and found him in the kitchen, according to the affidavit. Dodge claimed he had been unable to find the bathroom.
Dodge then went into the adjacent home and was found by the homeowners, according to police. He again claimed he was trying to use the bathroom.
The residents later discovered that large amounts of change had been taken from their homes and they reported the incidents to police.
A container where some of the coins had been stored was found empty in Dodge’s vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Dodge made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon and Judge Susan Sparaco set bail at $1,000 cash.
Assistant District Attorney asked for $5,000 cash bail because Dodge had two prior burglary convictions.
Defense attorney Jeremy Pratt asked for unsecured bail, arguing that Dodge was a self-employed landscaper. He also said that the items alleged to have been taken were not significant.
“We’re not talking about stealing a Renoir,” Pratt said.