April 07, 2020

Police urge caution amid rash of car burglaries

HOULTON – A string of car burglaries and thefts has continued in town this week, and the Houlton Police Department continued to urge the public Thursday to do what they can to protect their property.

The burglary spree began more than two weeks ago when numerous residents reported that their vehicles had been targeted.

Although many streets in town have been hit, several burglaries have occurred on Court Street, Varney Avenue, Chandler Street and Park Street.

Items stolen included CDs, stereo equipment and jewelry.

Acting Houlton Police Chief Daniel Pelletier said Thursday that police also responded to additional car burglaries on both Drew and Commonwealth avenues earlier this week.

Investigators are not sure whether they are dealing with one person or a group of people in connection with the incidents. All of the vehicles that were burglarized had been left unlocked.

“Those investigations remain open and active,” Pelletier said.

Although no arrests have yet been made in those cases, a Houlton man who reportedly stole a vehicle from a local business was apprehended thanks in part to the vehicle’s owner earlier this week.

Mark Drake, 23, was arrested after the 1995 Ford truck was reported stolen shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday.

According to Pelletier, the red truck, which was equipped with stickers featuring the company’s name, was taken from Steelstone Industries on Bridge Street.

Houlton police Officer Carolyn Crandall began investigating the case.

Approximately five hours later, Steelstone’s owner, Blake McQuade, called the Maine State Police barracks in Houlton to say that he had located the stolen truck – and that he was following it and its unknown driver down Route 11.

State Police Trooper Greg Burns caught up to the truck in New Limerick and Drake was arrested without incident, according to Pelletier.

He was charged with theft of a motor vehicle and taken to the Aroostook County Jail.

Houlton police are asking everyone to keep their cars locked and to keep valuables in their vehicles hidden.

They are also asking residents to report anything out of the ordinary to police. Anyone with information is asked to call Houlton police at 532-2287.

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