April 22, 2018
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Ogunquit police use Facebook to catch alleged vandals

By Chris Hayden, York County Coast Star

OGUNQUIT, Maine — In an example of 21st century policing, the Ogunquit Police Department announced on Saturday, via its Facebook page, that charges had been filed in the vandalism that occurred at Beach Plum Farm on Monday, July 21.

The arrest was made after the surveillance footage from outside Beach Plum Farm, which captured the entire incident, was posted on the Ogunquit Police Department’s Facebook page.

An anonymous person was able to produce a tip that lead to police charging Daniel Higgins, 31, of Brewster, N.Y., with criminal mischief. He will be arraigned at York County District Court on Nov. 5.

Higgins, according to Lt. Matthew Buttrick of the Ogunquit Police Department, is a “transient-type” who has “been in and around Ogunquit for the summer.”

The surveillance footage from outside Beach Plum Farm, owned by David Desmarais, shows two individuals walking onto the property from Route 1, inspecting the statue and knocking one over.

At the time, Desmarais said he took the event personally and while the damage wasn’t catastrophic, said he’d felt violated by the incident.

The Facebook post from the police department generated 31 comments and nearly 200 likes and Lt. Buttrick said that is the result of a conscious effort by the police department to keep the page active as a resource for the community and the department.

“A couple years ago we posted something, looking to ID someone there, and we didn’t have a very active page,” said Buttrick, who is responsible for keeping the page active.

“Chief [Pat Arnaudin] was looking for an active page, to kind of capture that audience.”

Buttrick said it is generally difficult to identify someone through Facebook since pictures or footage are often grainy and this was the first time a tip came back leading to charges.

For his part, Desmarais said he was aware of the charges but had no comment pending the conclusion of the investigation.


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