Former Lane employee charged in connection with job site thefts

By Tanya Mitchell | Aug 29, 2012
Source: Belfast Police Department From left are William Robicheau, Stewart Carney and Matthew Reed.

Waldo County — A former Lane Construction employee is accused of helping the three men who allegedly stole more than $10,000 worth of items from local job sites by telling them where to find the keys to access two of the three locations.

When the Waldo County Grand Jury rose Aug. 14, William J. Robichaud, 29, and 30-year-old Stewart Carney, both of Bucksport, were indicted on three counts of burglary, theft by unauthorized taking and violating conditions of release. The grand jury also indicted Matthew C. Reed, 28, of Penobscot on three counts of burglary, theft by unauthorized taking.

The indictments against the trio came as the result of a joint investigation involving the Maine State Police, the Waldo County Sheriff's Office, the Belfast Police Department, the Searsport Police Department and the Bucksport Police Department.

In addition to Carney, Robichaud and Reed, Belfast police summoned 51-year-old Herbert Walters of Bucksport on a charge of conspiracy to commit burglary.

Belfast Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham said Walters had been a longtime employee at Lane Construction, where he worked as a laborer. Cunningham said because of his line of work, Walters was also familiar with the grounds of Sunrise Materials in Searsport, and he knew where to find the keys to access the grounds and outbuildings at those locations.

"And he knew they were both idle right now," said Cunningham.

Cunningham said Walters told police Carney, Robichaud and Reed agreed to commit the thefts themselves. In exchange for Walters' assistance with accessing the properties, Cunningham said, the three men agreed to give Walters a cut of the money they made selling the scrap metal and copper they planned to take from the job sites.

According to court records, Robichaud, Carney and Reed allegedly burglarized Freshwater Stone and Brick Quarry in Prospect, Lane Construction in Belfast and Sunrise Materials in Searsport over the course of July 30 and July 31.

Court records state that among the items the three allegedly stole from the businesses were 200 feet of large four-strand copper wire, industrial batteries, heavy-gauge power cords and other industrial equipment, a laptop computer, cutting torches and scrap metal. The items reportedly had a value of more than $10,000.

Detective Jason Bosco with the Waldo County Sheriff's Office said he became involved with the investigation after the WCSO received a report of a burglary and theft from employees with Freshwater Stone Mondau, July 30. At that time, Bosco said, employees reported several items missing from a job site at a granite quarry in Frankfort.

July 31, Bosco said, the Belfast Police Department responded to a burglary and theft report at Lane Construction.

Later in the day on July 31, Bosco said, Bucksport Police Officer Steve Bishop met a pickup truck that was broken down on the side of the road, and the officer immediately recognized the three men as Carney, Robicheau and Reed.

"The truck was completely full of scrap metal and copper wire," said Bosco. "That made him suspicious, because he was familiar with the people [in the truck]."

Before the three men went on their way, Bosco said, Bishop snapped a few photos of the fully loaded truck. After Bishop learned of the ongoing burglary investigations in Waldo County, Bosco said, Bishop sent the images to WCSO.

"That gave us a lead," said Bosco.

From there, police traveled to J and J Recycling, a steel recycling business located on the Orrington-Brewer town line. While speaking to employees there, Bosco said, police learned Carey and Robicheau had recently brought a lot of scrap metal to the business.

Aug. 1, Bosco said, Deputy Jordan Tozier went to the recycling business and found "a large quantity of the missing items" and contacted representatives of Freshwater Stone, Lane Construction and Sunrise Materials. Representatives from all three companies found "bits and pieces" of the stolen property, said Bosco.

On Aug. 2, Bosco said, Cunningham and Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye went to Hancock County and located Reed, who, Bosco said, was in possession of some of the stolen items, in Orland. According to information included in the grand jury indictments, Reed also showed a Penobscot address.

Cunningham and Bosco then went to speak with Carney, who, Bosco said, confessed his involvement in the scheme. In addition, Bosco said, Trooper Corey Smith lodged additional burglary and theft charges against Carney, Robicheau and Reed as a result of Smith's investigation into a break-in at another quarry in the Frankfort-Prospect area. In that instance, Bosco said, a variety of power tools were reported missing.

Many of the stolen items have since been recovered and returned, Bosco said.

Bosco said this case was a good example of how well all of the local agencies work together, and he was especially grateful for the assistance of Bishop in Bucksport.

Cunningham said Walters lost his job with Lane Construction because of the allegation against him.

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