Armed robbers in Ellsworth may have been impersonating police

Posted Aug. 05, 2011, at 4:13 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Masked gunmen who may have been impersonating police officers stole money and drugs from four juveniles early Friday morning in Ellsworth during what police say appears to have been a targeted heist.

“It appears it was not a random act,” Lt. Harold Page of the Ellsworth Police Department said Friday afternoon. “This was a specific target.”

The incident happened at around 2 a.m. Friday when two individuals wearing ski masks reportedly walked into an Ellsworth garage where four unidentified juveniles were partying.

The victims later told police they were ordered onto the ground and that the gunmen demanded drugs and money. They apparently made off with a small amount of marijuana and some cash, Page said.

It appears the robbers may have been impersonating law enforcement officers.

The victims said at least one of the gunmen was wearing a ballistics vest similar to those worn by police and that they used walkie-talkies to communicate with a purported dispatch center. The gunmen also talked about returning with a search warrant.

The robbers were apparently picked up by a car — reached via walkie-talkie — but before leaving fired at least one shot. Page said it was unclear where the shot was aimed but added that police recovered a shell casing at the scene.

No one was injured during the incident. Police are continuing to investigate.

Although Page said it appears to have been a planned heist of a specific property, he added, “Obviously we are very concerned about it.”

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