PARIS, Maine — A Mechanic Falls man pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft, as well as arson and criminal mischief in Oxford County Superior Court on Tuesday. The charges stem from a one-night spree of automobile thefts around the Fryeburg area in December.
Derek James Foster, 21, of 323 Pleasant St., Mechanic Falls, pleaded guilty to seven counts, including four thefts, arson, aggravated criminal mischief and receiving stolen property.
Justice William Clifford sentenced Foster to five years in prison, all suspended, and two years probation, with $5,295 in restitution to victims.
Foster and Cody Parmenter, 20, of Fryeburg, were indicted in April on charges of stealing six vehicles during a snowstorm on Dec. 21, beginning in Brownfield and ending in Chatham, N.H. Most of the vehicles were damaged; three were burned, two intentionally.
Foster, who was on probation from a 2011 conviction when he stole the vehicles, had his probation revoked Tuesday and will serve 23 months at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, an official from the Oxford County Jail said Tuesday.
According to a report by Oxford County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tom Harriman, Foster admitted after his arrest on Dec. 21 that he and Parmenter stole a 2003 GMC Sonoma from a home in Denmark and it was stuck in snow in Brownfield.
The two left Brownfield in a stolen 1991 Chevrolet pickup, which became disabled and caught fire on the Shave Hill Road in Lovell. The two drove off in another stolen truck, this time a 1999 Chevrolet, from a house in Fryeburg. Foster torched the truck on the Harbor Road in Fryeburg and went to Parmenter’s house in Fryeburg, the report said.
Foster told police that he left the house alone and stole a 2010 Honda Fit from a South Chatham, N.H., home and crashed it on Green Hill Road in that town, Harriman said on Tuesday.
Foster told police he stole a 2000 Chevrolet S-10 pickup owned by Cormack Construction and set it on fire after crashing it on the West Fryeburg Road, before taking off on foot, the investigator’s report said.
Fryeburg police, assisted by a Maine State Police tracking dog, apprehended Foster in the woods near the site of the final crash, according to the report.
Foster and Parmenter were arraigned in May and pleaded not guilty to the string of thefts.
Parmenter still faces one charge of arson, three charges of theft, and a charge each of criminal mischief and aggravated criminal mischief.