June 20, 2018
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Belfast man jailed on charges he sold someone else’s minibus for scrap metal

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — An enterprising man recently sold a minibus this week for scrap metal in Bangor and made more than $700 on the transaction, according to Belfast police.

The only problem was, the bus wasn’t his.

Kevin Grass, 41, of Belfast was issued a criminal summons on Thursday for theft and violation of his conditions of release from a previous complaint. He’s in police custody at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, according to a Waldo County Jail official.

Chief Jeff Trafton of the Belfast Police Department said the bus apparently had been parked for five or six years near the Nazarene Church on Swan Lake Avenue. Before that, it had belonged to Grass, who sold it to the current owners.

When the owner’s father noticed it was missing, he contacted police.

“The son called us and said, ‘Hey, look, that bus is mine,’” Trafton said Friday.

After an investigation, police learned the bus was on its way to OneSteel Recycling in Bangor and subsequently contacted Grass, who claimed it hadn’t been fully paid for by the new owner.

But Trafton said the price of metal apparently has gone up, because whenever that happens, police respond to more cases of alleged metal theft.

Last week, two people from the Belfast area were charged by police after allegedly taking a 1996 Volvo from a Belfast residence and bringing it to OneSteel Recycling to sell it for scrap metal. In that case, police were able to track the car to one of the suspects because of a 2008 law that requires scrap metal processors to pay sellers with checks for anything more than $50.

BELFAST, Maine — A local man is facing several charges after getting into an accident Wednesday afternoon while intoxicated, police said.

Randolph S. Philbrook, 55, of Belfast reportedly drove into a telephone pole on Shepard Road with a Ford pickup truck at about 5:30 p.m. and then kept driving, according to a report from the Belfast Police Department.

A woman called police to report the accident, which took place in front of her house. She also said that her ex-husband had been a passenger and was complaining of arm pain.

Responding police found that Philbrook was lying on a couch in his residence with the truck parked outside. He was cooperative, but failed his field sobriety test. Further tests showed Philbrook had blood alcohol content of .15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit, according to the police report.

His passenger did go to the hospital for treatment, but police had no further information available about his condition.

While officers were at his house, one went to look at the pickup truck and noticed a handgun partially sticking out from under the driver’s seat, according to Chief Jeff Trafton.

Philbrook said he did not have a concealed weapons permit.

Police arrested and charged Philbrook with OUI, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury, and carrying a concealed weapon.

BELFAST, Maine — After deciding that a driver was going too fast and endangering children at his trailer park, a man apparently took it upon himself to do a little policing, which the actual police were not too happy about.

Christopher W. Cunningham, 23, of Belfast was charged with driving to endanger and disorderly conduct after a Thursday night incident at Penobscot Trailer Park at R.W. MacLeod Lane, according to a report from the Belfast Police Department.

Cunningham reportedly hopped into his vehicle to chase the other driver, said Police Chief Jeff Trafton.

When the other driver got out of his car, Cunningham allegedly made threats and called him inflammatory names. He also told the other driver not to bother calling police, because it wouldn’t do him any good, as Cunningham has family in the police department, Trafton said.

“He does not,” the chief said. “He’s no relation.”

Despite Cunningham’s entreaties, the other man called the police, who came to the trailer park. They found that Cunningham’s vehicle had left tire marks indicating he had been traveling very quickly.

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