OAKLAND — A second man was arrested Wednesday in connection with the theft of an elderly couple’s Christmas presents, a crime that struck an emotional chord with police and the community.
“We were very motivated,” Oakland police Capt. Rick Stubbert said. “This one really hit a nerve.”
Brandon Rimes, 26, was charged with the crime about 12:45 p.m., Stubbert said.
On Dec. 6, Charlotte Lovejoy, 87, and Del Lovejoy, 88, who live on a fixed income, woke up to find that the Christmas presents they had bought for their family had been stolen from their home while they slept.
“It’s a real invasion of privacy,” Stubbert said, “especially when you’re home and find that someone has been in your house.”
Collections for the Lovejoys were taken up by Oakland’s police and fire departments, the Town Office, and Messalonskee High School, where Del Lovejoy worked as head custodian.
The day after the theft was reported, Oakland police arrested Jason Horne, 25, and charged him with the crime.
Stubbert said a few stolen clothing items and gift cards were recovered, but most of the stolen presents were thrown out at the town transfer station and taken out of the area.
“I don’t suspect we’ll recover anything else,” Stubbert said.
Both Horne and Rimes live at 88 Summer St., which is directly across the street from the Lovejoys.
Charlotte Lovejoy said she has tried to be a good neighbor to Horne, Rimes, and others living at that address and even has taken cream puffs, candy and cookies to the home of the alleged burglars several times.
“They were over here on Halloween, and I gave their little girl a lot of stuff,” she said.
Now, she said, she is afraid in her own home.
“I am a nervous wreck,” she said. “I haven’t slept for days. It has taken a toll on my body.”
Calls made to Rimes and Horne seeking comment were not returned.
Charlotte Lovejoy said she will celebrate Christmas with a family gathering Dec. 26.
“We’re going to have a good Christmas,” she said. “They haven’t killed my spirit, because I still believe in Santa Claus.”
Stubbert said both Rimes and Horne will appear in Kennebec County Superior Court in February for an arraignment. Each has been charged with burglary, a felony; and theft and criminal mischief, which are misdemeanors.
Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287