LEWISTON, Maine — A Jeffrey Street man was putting the word out on Sunday: Help him catch the person who broke into his house Saturday night and win his undying gratitude.
Not to mention $500.
Roger Castonguay and his wife were sleeping Saturday night – with doors locked – when somebody slit a screen and slipped inside their home. Stolen in the heist were two laptops, a cellphone, purse, a jar full of change and other easily carried items.
Thieves also stole gas cans off his truck.
Word about the break-in spread quickly on Sunday, through Facebook and other means. The fact that the culprit was bold enough to enter the home while it was occupied frightened many in the heavily populated area around Pleasant Street.
Castonguay, on the other hand, was mostly angry — fuming, in fact. He reported the break-in Sunday morning. Lewiston police are searching for the suspect.
So is Castonguay, along with his family, friends and dozens of strangers who heard about the burglary on Sunday.
Several people on Sunday said they plan to arm themselves or to take other steps necessary to protect their families from similar break-ins.
Castonguay, a landscaper, doesn’t blame them a bit.
“People need to know,” he said. “Lewiston is a different place now; nothing like it was 30 years ago.”
One Lewiston woman said on Sunday her home was broken into a few weeks ago while she was sleeping. The thief — or thieves — were inside her home long enough to steal a 39-inch television.
Home break-ins are always a problem in summertime, police say, as more people tend to leave windows open to let in cool night air. It’s not common for break-ins to occur while a house is occupied, they say, but it’s not unheard of either. Many suspects are drug-addicted. The more desperate they become for money, the more boldly they may act.
Castonguay doesn’t intend to be victimized again. In addition to taking steps to protect himself from future burglaries, he was offering cash for information leading to the conviction of a suspect or suspects in this one. He was appealing to anyone with information, even if it happens to be a friend of the suspect.
“Go ahead,” Castonguay said, “Turn your buddy in and get yourself 500 bucks.”
Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call Lewiston police at 513-3001 or Castonguay at 782-0315.