BELFAST, Maine — The Waldo County Sheriff’s Department has made four arrests after a rash of thefts in which stolen items included ice fishing equipment, a large collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia and a pickup truck with an attached plow.
Jason Cromenes, 29, of Lincolnville was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the sheriff’s office and charged with Class C theft at his home on Green Acre Road.
Chief Deputy Robert Keating said Cromenes and his girlfriend apparently had rented the home from a Nevada woman who had inherited it after her parents died. Before the couple moved in, the home’s furnishings and Elvis collectibles were gathered in one room so the new tenants could use the rest of the house.
“Her sister advised her that the tenants living there had been removing her furniture,” Keating said.
Although the couple denied to police that they took anything, the investigation led to a Lincolnville storage unit that Cromenes had rented. Last Thursday, Detective Merl Reed, Patrol Officer Gene Rega and Lt. Jason Trundy obtained a search warrant and found “almost all” of the property the Nevada woman had described, Keating said.
Items include china, a stereo, bureaus, end tables and the Elvis memorabilia — altogether at least several thousand dollars’ worth of goods, he said.
Cromenes was taken to the Waldo County Correctional Facility, where he was held Wednesday afternoon. Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
In a separate investigation, Chad A. Overlock, 34, of Belfast was arrested and charged with burglary and theft; Cameron B. Philbrook, 34, of Northport was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property; and Christopher Beeton, 21, of Belfast was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft.
Chief Deputy Keating said that Overlock and Beeton are alleged to have stolen a chop saw, a table saw and a Dell laptop computer from two storage units in Brooks, an ice augur, ice fishing traps and an ice fishing basket from two ice shacks on Lake St. George, and a Dodge pickup truck with an attached snowplow stolen from the intersection of Routes 3 and 220 in Liberty.
The men got the truck stuck after allegedly stealing it, then vandalized it, Keating said, including breaking the plow and the headlights.
“Once they got the truck stuck, they demolished it,” Keating said Wednesday afternoon.
He said investigators believe that Philbrook bought some of the stolen items from Overlock and Beeton.
Sheriff’s office personnel learned of the burglaries Friday morning when they received a report of a missing cash box and a small safe from the Thorndike fire station.
Keating said that “good police work” led Waldo County deputies and officials from the Maine State Police officials and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to other burglaries and thefts, then to the homes of Overlock and Philbrook.
After obtaining a search warrant, police officials searched the men’s homes on Tuesday and recovered ice fishing equipment and the saws.
“Our detective unit and the patrol division worked very hard,” Keating said. “I think there will be additional charges filed.”
He did not have any comment about the possibility of drugs being involved.
Beeton was being held at the Waldo County Correctional Facility on Wednesday afternoon, but Overlock and Philbrook had been released on bail.