Friday, 12 October 2018 12:44

Skowhegan sees rash of business, residential break ins

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 SKOWHEGAN - Police in central Maine are trying to find the culprits in a recent rash of car, home and business break-ins.

Over the past week, the Skowhegan Police Department has dealt with 13 reported break-ins and at least five thefts, according to Chief David Bucknam.


"Friday is when the burglary complaints started coming in," Bucknam said.


Since then, police have arrested one young man and a warrant is out for another for an overnight burglary at Dreamerz, a local smoke shop.


Owner Jena Bryer said the burglars, caught on tape, stole money, pipes and other items as well as pot from her medical marijuana business.


"My cameras say it happened at 4 o'clock in the morning," Bryer said.


Tyler Long, 18, turned himself in to police in connection with the smoke shop break-in, Bucknam said.


"I don't know if he got a guilty conscience or realized, "You know, hey, I made a big mistake.' And he went back to Dreamerz."


Bryer said Long "brought back what he had left. I mean, he admitted that he spent all the cash on drugs as soon as they left.


"He just saw it as an opportunity," she said. "But he didn't see that I'm a single mom with two kids. And this is what stops me from having nothing."


Police are still trying to solve more than a dozen other break-ins this week, targeting a handful of local businesses, homes and camps.


Stanton Walker was among the burglary victims.


"Yeah, they broke into my garage. Took some gas cans and stuff," he said.


"I had some marijuana growing on site. I have a medical marijuana license. And they stole all my marijuana, too. They go on Facebook. They brag about after what they do," he said.


Among the items stolen were a gun, tools and truck tailgates from a local car dealership. Investigators believe other groups of burglars are responsible for those break-ins, which they believe are all drug-related.


Bryer has a message for suspects: "I have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. And you just stole their livelihood. That's their food and their shelter."


Police are asking people to do their part by keeping their doors and windows locked on both their cars and their homes. They also are asking people to keep an eye on the neighborhood.