BANGOR, Maine — Items stolen from a convenience store early Saturday morning and found on the ground leading to a Sunset Avenue apartment led police right to the burglar, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.
Officers Kevin Murphy and Brian Smith put the pieces together from two separate crimes — a car theft and the 2 a.m. burglary of the Corner Mini Mart at 554 Union St. — thanks to the dropped evidence, the sergeant said.
Police arrested Joseph Collins, 26, at his apartment just before 11 a.m. Saturday and charged him with felony burglary as well as theft, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle and operating with a suspended license, Edwards said.
Police say Collins stole a car from Kineo Street sometime after 11 p.m. Friday and then went to the convenience store early Saturday and broke a window to get inside. Officers Tim Brown and Kim Donnell collected evidence, including surveillance video, and the store manager said about $138 in scratch-off lottery tickets were missing, according to Edwards.
The video camera evidence was very helpful, the sergeant said.
Seven hours later, at around 7:30 a.m., the car was reported stolen and the owner and Murphy found it parked on Sunset Avenue while the officer was giving the man a ride to a softball game.
Murphy “found evidence that appeared to be consistent with evidence collected from the store, leading from the car to an apartment on Sunset Avenue,” Edwards said.
Murphy and Smith called in the department’s Criminal Investigations Division to assist and contact was made with Collins.
Evidence at the scene linked Collins to the burglary, Edwards said, adding, “I can’t say what.”
Collins has two convictions for operating a vehicle while his license was suspended and two convictions for operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. He also has been convicted of speeding more than 30 mph over the posted speed limit and of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News.
Collins was taken to the Penobscot County Jail on Saturday and later released, a jail official said Monday.