LINCOLN, Maine — A local man will serve a four-year prison sentence for burglarizing a half-dozen businesses and residences in Lincoln and Winn that were part of a burglary spree of at least 35 break-ins last summer, officials said Wednesday.
Brandon Tolman, 25, pleaded no contest during a court appearance at Penobscot Judicial Center of Bangor on Monday to two counts each of Class C burglary and Class E theft in connection with break-ins at Motorbrain Consulting and High Performance hair salon of Lincoln on July 23, 2013, a court official said.
Tolman also pleaded guilty Monday and received the four-year sentence on two counts each of Class C burglary, Class E theft, Class C criminal mischief and a single count of Class C aggravated criminal mischief for burglarizing Winn Federal Credit Union, Winn Service Center and two personal residences on July 19, 2013, a court official said.
The burglaries were among 25 reported in Lincoln at Avanti Bridal Salon, Capello Hair Salon, North Country Auto, Tibbetts Building Center, Lincoln News, U.S. Cellular, F.A. Peabody Insurance, Access Auto, Motorbrain, Performance Hair, Richard’s Sports Shop, Shooter’s Billiards Bar and Grille, Thornton Brothers and High-Tech Auto last summer.
Tolman is a suspect in five of the burglaries committed in Lincoln. He was in Penobscot County Jail on another set of charges when the rest of the burglaries occurred, Lincoln police Detective Mark Fucile said.
At least another 10 burglaries believed committed by the burglary ring occurred in Winn, Lee, Mattawamkeag and the Katahdin region, police have said. Penobscot County sheriffs and state police had declined to say how many burglaries were reported in those areas.
Police collected evidence and took DNA swabs from the mouths of two suspects for forensic examination. Police suspected that the burglars were drug addicts or had recently been released from prison. The burglaries were simple smash-and-grabs, with cash taken from cash registers and safes stolen, police have said.
Between $50 and $1,900 cash was taken from each burglary. Property damage included doors, windows and furniture, police said. A total estimate on the cash taken or damage repair costs was never made.
Lincoln police formed a task force with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, state police and several other law enforcement agencies last summer in response to the burglaries, which police said involve a dozen suspects that a police task force has been chasing since the break-ins began in mid-July. At least five suspects have been arrested or indicted by grand juries in connection with the break-ins.
“We had a lot of participation from law enforcement, the other agencies. It was a good team effort,” Fucile said Tuesday.
A grand jury indicted Tolman, 20-year-old Jaycey Searles of Lincoln, and a third suspect in late October on charges they did several thousand dollars in damage to the credit union. The indictment also charged Searles with driving the two suspects to the credit union that night, officials have said.
The indictments also charged the three with stealing money, mostly coins, from Motorbrain and nearby High Performance on Main Street in Lincoln on the night of July 23. As part of that crime, Tolman, Searles and the third suspect were charged with taking the stolen coins and cashing them in at Bangor Savings Bank in Bangor, officials said.
Tolman and Searles were indicted on charges they burglarized Winn Service and vandalized and stole money from a vending machine at Winn Equipment both on the night of July 31, 2013, officials have said.
As part of her plea bargain, Searles on Monday was sentenced to 90 days imprisonment on one count of Class D receiving stolen property and Class D criminal mischief. Several other theft, criminal mischief and burglary counts were dismissed, officials said.
Charges against the third suspect indicted in October, Matthew J. Anderson, 24, of Mattawamkeag, are pending.