EDMUNDS — The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a series of break-ins here and in Pembroke and Dennysville that netted thieves little in the way of valuables, but caused significant damage.
Sgt. Lester Seeley said he received a telephone call early Tuesday morning from an Edmunds Elementary School official who reported a break-in at the school. Entry was gained through a back window, he said.
Although it appeared that very little was taken from the school, Seeley said there was about $1,500 in damage.
“There was mostly food damage. They threw it on the walls, in the gym, and they threw milk all around the kitchen. It was a complete mess,” he said.
Shortly after the report of the Edmunds incident, the owner of the Pembroke Mobil Station and Convenience Store on Route 1 reported a break-in at his business. Seeley said Deputies Frank Gardner and Dennis Perry were investigating that incident.
Entry at the second break-in was gained through a front window. “Deputies found that a lot of beer and cigarettes were taken but there was very little vandalism,” he said.
The investigation of that break-in had just begun, Seeley said, when he received a call that Payless Auto on Route 1 in Dennysville had been broken into. He said entry was gained through a rear side door.
“Change and a .22 [caliber] pistol were taken,” he said. The deputy said there was very little vandalism.
Seeley said that he went to the Salmon Club parking lot on the Dennys River because it’s a traditional area for teen-agers to park. He discovered that the fishway and fish dam had been vandalized.
“They drove large metal rods, brace rods, through the fish pens and broke them up. They broke up the dam and threw rocks on it and sunk it,” he said. The deputy said he was uncertain if there had been fish in the pens.
Because the fish program is federally operated, he said, the vandals committed a federal offense. He estimated damage to the fish pens and dam at $1,500.
While the busy deputies investigated those incidents, they received a report Tuesday of yet another break-in at the Dennys River Sportman’s Club House in Dennysville. The building is located in an isolated area away from any road, and entry was gained through the front door.
“Nothing taken, but there was a lot of vandalism,” he said. The deputy said the perpetrators defecated on the floor and threw dishes around. He estimated damage at $500.
Seeley said deputies are following several leads, and there are several suspects. He said Lt. David Denbow is assisting in the investigation.
The deputy said there was no question that the break-ins in Dennysville and Edmunds were related. He said he was not working on the Pembroke break-in and had not spoken with investigators to see if there was a connection between that incident and the others.
Last week, Seeley said, a flag was stolen from the Dennysville Library and he believes that also may be related to the other break-ins.