Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Police are investigating a string of burglaries that hit seven businesses in three towns early Sunday morning.
A deli, a seafood restaurant, a suntanning business, a hair salon, a bridal shop and two gift stores were all broken into on one night, according to police in Oakland, Waterville and Fairfield.
There was minor property damage from the forced entry at all the businesses, but police said there didn't appear to be anything missing from at least two of the locations.
At 3:40 a.m., Waterville police responded within minutes to a tripped burglar alarm at Weathervane Seafood Restaurant, but the business was empty when they arrived, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey of the Waterville police.
"Our city is compact enough that we get there immediately," Rumsey said. He said officers were particularly prepared to respond because they had already answered two burglar alarms earlier that night.
A rear window to the restaurant had been smashed, allowing the thieves to enter and exit, he said, and minor damage was done inside the business from people who had attempted to force their way into cabinets and offices.
Within an hour, during a canvas of other businesses in the area, police discovered that the Pine Cone Gift Shop, across Kennedy Memorial Drive from the restaurant, had also been burglarized.
Rumsey said the two buildings were searched but nothing appeared to be missing.
Sunday morning, five other businesses in the area were found to have been burglarized overnight.
In Oakland, tanning salon Tropical Sunsations, Shelby's Deli and Visions Flowers and Bridal Designs are located in a cluster about a mile from the Weathervane. All three showed signs of forced entry, according to Oakland police Capt. Rick Stubbert.
On Fairfield's Main Street, about six miles away, Bittersweet Crossing Primitive Gifts and Kerri's Nail and Hair Flair were also broken into during the same time period, according to Detective Sgt. Kingston Paul of the Fairfield Police Department.
Paul said the three departments are working together to solve the crimes. He said he was unaware of any burglaries in other area towns that would be connected to this case.
Police asked anyone with information about the crimes or who might have been driving by the businesses early Sunday to contact them.
Anonymous tips can be made at oaklandcrimetip.com or on the Waterville police website at waterville-me.gov. Police in Fairfield can be reached at 453-9321, in Oakland at 465-2202 and Waterville at 680-4700.
Matt Hongoltz-Hetling -- 861-9287