BELFAST, Maine — Police say a man accused of stealing thousands of cans and bottles last weekend from a Belfast redemption center is a former employee and son of the former owner.
Jesse Dodge, 31, of Belfast was arrested and charged Thursday with burglarizing the Little River Redemption Center after the Belfast Police Department investigation led to a tip from another redemption center in Thomaston.
“Jesse Dodge had returned a substantial amount of returnables,” Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden said Friday. “Typically, this would not have raised an eyebrow — except that Jesse Dodge is the son of the [former] owner of the [Belfast] redemption center.”
McFadden said he believed that Ronald Dodge recently transferred ownership of the Belfast business to someone else, but that Jesse Dodge was familiar with the building. Police said earlier this week that the burglary netted 50 large plastic bags filled with cans and bottles, which may be worth as much as $2,500.
Jesse Dodge, who was on probation from a previous offense, was taken to Waldo County Jail and placed on a probation hold. While at the jail, he allegedly made a phone call that landed him in additional hot water, McFadden said.
“While Jesse’s at jail, he decides it’s a good time to call a friend and have them go out to Perkins Road and remove the truck and the $1,000 that’s in it, because he doesn’t want the police to find out,” McFadden said.
He said he did not know if the money in the truck was connected to the burglary.
All phone calls to and from the jail are monitored.
Police officers looked for the truck and did find one, parked in a dark, shadowy place off the road, McFadden said. When they ran its license plate and registration numbers, they realized it had been stolen several months ago in Swanville, McFadden said. The Waldo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating that matter.
McFadden said it was likely that more charges will be filed.
Dodge remained in police custody Friday at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.