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A Massachusetts man has been charged with stealing a truck from a concrete business in Veazie and driving it 80 miles north as part of what he said was a mission to haul “missiles up to Canada for the government.”
Krassimir Popov, 26, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, was charged Monday with arson, theft by unauthorized taking, burglary of a motor vehicle and two counts of criminal mischief in connection with the theft of a 12-wheel, flatbed truck from American Concrete Industries in Veazie.
State police arrested Popov in Herseytown Township at the home of Joel Mazziotta on Saturday. Mazziotta’s girlfriend, Cinnamon Parry, called 911 at 8:05 a.m. to report that Popov had spray painted the couple’s boat, two cars and a van, and stolen items from the vehicles. Popov is also accused of setting fire to a pallet, spray painting walls and stealing tools from American Concrete, state police said.
The crime spree might be rooted in mental illness. Trooper Ryan Freeman said Popov exhibited signs of instability during his interrogation.
“I then asked why he [Popov] had taken the truck and where was he planning on going. He told me that it was his mission and he was taking missiles up to Canada for the government and that he had never seen a nuclear rocket before this,” Freeman wrote in his arrest report.
Latchezar Popov told police that his brother has bipolar disorder. Chelmsford police reported that the suspect was hospitalized several times recently for mental health issues, state police said.
Parry and American Concrete Industries owner Shawn MacDonald expressed sympathy for Popov’s condition but said that his actions were dangerous and damaging.
The truck’s cargo — three concrete sewer manhole assemblies, each 4 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall — was not secured to the flatbed and could have been deadly had it fallen off, MacDonald said.
The truck also crushed a culvert under Mazziotta’s driveway, Parry said.
Popov is being held on $2,000 bail at Penobscot County Jail. He will undergo a mental health evaluation before appearing at Penobscot County Judicial Center on Aug. 7, a court official said.