May 23, 2018
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Waterville police report catching burglar in the act

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

WATERVILLE, Maine — A Waterville man will spend Christmas behind bars after police allegedly caught him trying to break into a local pawn shop early Monday.

Further investigation determined that Andrew Cooper, 27, also was responsible for two burglaries at Ken-A-Set, a Waterville department store, over the weekend, according to Police Chief Joseph Massey.

Police had been sent to Ken-A-Set at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday after it was reported the store had been broken into, Massey said.

At 6:15 a.m. Monday, an alert motorist saw a man who turned out to be Cooper attempting to gain entry to J.R.’s pawn shop, and police responded swiftly, Massey said.

Cooper, who was trying to pry a side door open when officers arrived, quickly was taken into custody, the chief said. Because Ken-A-Set and the pawn shop are in close proximity to one another, police believed that Cooper may have been responsible for the burglaries at the department store.

Cooper told police he had been in the Waterville area only for a couple weeks, Massey said, and had been staying with his sister at a Hathaway Street apartment. When detectives went to the address, a car in the driveway “was filled with assorted items that looked like they came from Ken-A-Set,” Massey said.

Cooper allegedly admitted to police that he broke into the store twice. He faces two charges of burglary, a Class C felony, in addition to attempted burglary and criminal mischief, both Class D misdemeanors, and possession of burglar tools, a Class E misdemeanor.

Cooper is being held at the Kennebec County Jail on $4,000 bail. His court date is Feb. 12.

In addition to the incidents involving Cooper, Waterville police also are investigating a burglary that occurred on Saturday at Sherwin Williams, a paint store, Massey said.

The suspect or suspects in that case allegedly smashed the glass in the front door to gain entry, the chief said. Massey said it’s not known if anything was taken from the store.

Police have yet to identify a suspect in the second case. Anyone with information on the incident should call Waterville police at 680-4700.

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