LEWISTON, Maine — Police arrested a teenager on Friday in connection with a slew of burglaries that have plagued the city since the start of summer.
Paul Allen Fernald, 18, was arrested at about 5 p.m. on Webster Street and charged in a warrant. He is accused in several area break-ins during which cash, credit cards, gift cards, jewelry and tools have been taken.
Fernald lists an address at 45 Hatch Hill Road in Greene, but police say he has been staying in Lewiston, using a bicycle to get around.
Police had been searching for Fernald in connection with the summertime burglary spree that began two months ago.
Police said in most of the burglaries, entry was gained through unlocked doors and windows, although some doors had been forced open. Most of the break-ins occurred overnight.
For the past two months, burglars have been targeting homes on quiet side streets off high-traffic areas, including neighborhoods around College and outer Lisbon streets. Police have been beefing up their presence in these areas, patrolling in unmarked cars, on bicycles and on foot.
In at least two break-ins, homes were entered while the occupants were asleep in their beds.
At about 5 p.m. Friday, police received information that Fernald was at an apartment house on Webster Street.
Detective Wayne Clifford went to 213 Webster, at the corner of Moody Street, with officers Michael Dumond and Michael Maillet. They found the suspect and arrested him without incident.
Fernald was held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on $5,000 cash bail. Police said their investigation is continuing and that other arrests are possible.
Anyone with information about the recent burglaries is asked to contact detectives Derrick St. Laurent or Carley Conley by calling 513-3001.
Police also ask that citizens look out for themselves and their neighbors.
“Residents know their neighborhoods better than anyone else,” Lewiston police Chief Michael Bussiere said. “If you see someone or something unusual or suspicious, call 911.”
Break-ins have not been limited to homes. Vehicles have also been targeted, police said. They advise people to lock their car doors and to remove any items of value.