Two arrested in Canaan accused of cutting copper pipes in theft attempt

Posted July 09, 2014, at 2:53 p.m.

CANAAN, Maine — Two young men were arrested early Wednesday morning after they had broken into a residence with the intent of stealing copper, police said.

A concerned citizen had called police shortly after 8:30 a.m. upon witnessing two men, Hunter Prew, 18, of Newport and Ryan Gaudet, 19, of Hartland, enter a Main Street residence, according to Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Lancaster said the citizen called police because they were aware the homeowners were not home.

When deputies arrived, they discovered the suspects had broken down a back door to gain entry, and a gas stove had been pulled from the wall and copper tubing cut, resulting in a strong stench of propane gas.

Canaan firefighters responded and Central Maine Power cut the power to the residence, and once the home was deemed safe, police began searching for the suspects and found them cowering in a small storage area, Lancaster said.

Prew and Gaudet were taken into custody and charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief, said Lancaster, who noted the situation could’ve been worse.

“This could have been an extremely dangerous situation when the males cut the copper tubing to an active propane line,” Lancaster said.

Prew and Gaudet are being held at the Somerset County Jail.