ROCKLAND – A string of thefts and property damage in surrounding neighborhoods apparently preceded Monday’s break-ins and vandalism at the SAD 5 administrative building and at the Lincoln Street Center, police said Tuesday.
Rockland police Sgt. Lloyd Daniels said Detective Sgt. James Pease and Detective Chris Young had been working on the cases all day and that there were multiple suspects.
Daniels said thefts of yard tools and damage to lawn equipment and gardens occurred on Masonic, Limerock, Maple and Beech streets. A motor vehicle on Beech Street also was damaged, he said.
Vandalism at the Lincoln Street Center was extensive, said Superintendent Donald Kanicki. He also said Tuesday that $700 in school lunch money had been taken from the superintendent’s office. The buildings are next to each other on Lincoln Street.
At the SAD 5 building, windows were broken in the special education room, transportation office and curriculum and computer coordinators’ room, he said.
He said access to the building was gained through the only unsecured window in the basement.
Vandals entered the superintendent’s office through an unlocked conference room and stole change in Kanicki’s desk in addition to the $700, he said. The superintendent said that money is not normally kept in his office, but that the business office was closed Monday. Some inside doors also were damaged, he said.
Next door, at the Lincoln Street Center, settings, props and equipment that were ready for a play that was to open Thursday were damaged, and gallons of paint were dumped around the building, John Chandler, director of the Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education, said.
The building is owned by the city, but leased to the cultural organization.
Theater lighting that belongs to the Maine Theatre Guild was damaged, Chandler said.
One spotlight was worth a couple of thousand dollars. He did not yet have an estimate of all the damage.
“The Hobbit” was supposed to open Thursday and run through Saturday, he said. Those performances have been postponed until June 1 and 2, he said.
The perpetrators also stole sound equipment and a prop sword, he said, and damaged a 6-foot-tall papier-mache dragon that Rockland District Middle School pupils had worked on for weeks.
Paint was thrown onto radiators, walls and scenery in three rooms and a hallway, Chandler said.
Although the organization has insurance, it will only partially cover the damage to the Maine Theatre Guild’s equipment, he said, and will not pay for the sets and props that were ruined.
“It’s too bad for the kids,” he said. The play is a joint effort of the guild and Midcoast Children’s Theater.