POLICE BEAT

Local man arrested in connection with Veazie Villa break-ins

Posted March 19, 2012, at 8:16 p.m.
Eric Daniel Clifford
Veazie Police Department
Eric Daniel Clifford

VEAZIE, Maine — A local man who allegedly broke into neighbors’ homes in search of prescription drugs was arrested Friday on numerous charges, three of them felonies.

Eric Daniel Clifford, 25, is charged with two counts of burglary, stealing drugs, theft by unauthorized taking and two counts of criminal mischief, Veazie Police Chief Mark Leonard said Monday.

The two burglary charges and the charge of stealing drugs are Class C felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison, fines of up to $5,000 or both.

The burglary charges are connected to break-ins on March 9 and March 15 at two condominiums at Veazie Villas, where Clifford lived with his grandmother until his arrest, Leonard said.

Evidence gathered at the two crime scenes pointed to Clifford’s involvement, Leonard said. He and Veazie police Officer Kevin Sirois interviewed Clifford on Friday and arrested him the same day.

“We got a confession. In writing,” Leonard said Monday.

The doors of units Clifford broke into were damaged but nothing appeared to have been taken during the burglaries because Clifford was seeking drugs, Leonard said.

Leonard said, however, that Clifford admitted he entered a third unit, invited, and while there stole prescription drugs and about $60 cash from a woman’s purse.

Clifford, who was taken to Penobscot County Jail after his arrest, was released on bail late Monday afternoon, the chief said.

According to the Bangor Daily News archives, the burglaries were not Clifford’s first brush with the law.

In 2005, Clifford was charged with seven counts of forgery in connection with checks he stole from the Bangor West Side Little League, wrote out to himself and then cashed.

Clifford had taken the checks from his father’s house where they were kept and from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7, 2005, forged his father’s signature on seven checks and cashed them at several convenience stores, a market and a supermarket, according to police reports.

Clifford was fined $500, sentenced to eight months in jail and one year of probation and ordered to pay $300 in restitution.

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