POLICE BEAT

Veazie couple charged in connection with two unsuccessful robberies with plastic gun

Posted Dec. 19, 2011, at 12:01 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 20, 2011, at 3:39 p.m.
Apryl Vanags
Bangor Police Department
Apryl Vanags
Brian Caggiano
Bangor Police Department
Brian Caggiano

BANGOR, Maine — A man from Veazie robbed the Garland Street Market on Dec. 10 carrying a plastic handgun, police say, and after getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash he decided on Sunday to try to rob the same store again.

The second robbery didn’t go as planned for Brian J. Caggiano because the Garland Street Market store clerk recognized him and refused to give him any money, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said.

Caggiano, 29, and his alleged get-away driver, Apryl Vanags, 25, who is also from Veazie, then decided to attempt to rob the Mt. Hope Variety store and again were told to get lost, the sergeant said.

The two got no money on Sunday and now are behind bars and could face up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 for each felony count if convicted for the two robberies.

Caggiano reportedly walked into the Garland Street Market at around 8:45 p.m. Sunday and the male clerk, who recognized him, told him “that he wasn’t going to hand over any money and he needed to take off,” Edwards said.

Caggiano did as ordered and Vanags then drove him to the nearby Mt. Hope Variety.

This time, Caggiano passed a note to the store clerk basically saying he was robbing the place, Edwards said.

“That is when the two clerks called over the manager and he said, ‘We’re not going to give you anything,’” the sergeant said.

The manager and Caggiano wrestled a bit and during the scuffle, the manager “noticed the gun, which is fake or plastic,” Edward said.

The fake gun fell out of Caggiano’s pocket as he ran from the store and was taken as evidence by police.

The situation is not a laughing matter, but the store’s video surveillance recording of the encounter “is pretty funny,” store clerk Becky Terrio said Monday.

Bangor police Officer Jamie Fanning was heading to the attempted robbery at the Garland Street Market on Sunday evening when she was told by dispatchers that the suspects were attempting to rob Mt. Hope Variety, Edwards said.

She located the car within seconds of it leaving the second store and was able to stop Vanags near the Veazie town line, the sergeant said.

Vanags and Caggiano both face two counts of felony robbery and both were charged with violating their conditions of release.

Caggiano also was charged with a third felony robbery charge for the Dec. 10 crime, and Vanagas also was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license.

Caggiano and Vanagas both have numerous criminal convictions, according to prior court listings published in Bangor Daily News.

Caggiano has four theft by unauthorized taking or transfer convictions over the last five years, as well as convictions for forgery, disorderly conduct, violating condition of release, disorderly conduct, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, domestic violence assault and operating a vehicle with a suspended license, the BDN listings state.

Vanags, who moved to Maine from Boston, has been convicted of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, operating a vehicle without a driver’s license and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, the BDN listings state.

Both Caggiano and Vanags were taken to Penobscot County Jail Sunday night. They made their first court appearances Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Bail for Caggiano was set at $20,000 cash. Vanags’ bail was set at $10,000 cash or $50,000 in surety. Both remained at the jail in Bangor on Tuesday afternoon unable to post bail, a jail official said.

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