AUGUSTA — A Sidney man with a history of stealing tools and construction equipment is back behind bars, charged with burglarizing a Manchester property where a home is being built for Travis Mills, a war veteran and quadruple amputee.
Clinton Uriah Bates II, 36, had been out of jail on probation for about a month before he was arrested on a warrant early Saturday morning and taken to Kennebec County jail.
On Monday he made an initial appearance by video in Kennebec County Superior Court on one count of burglary and three counts of theft by unauthorized taking.
Justice Donald Marden read the charges to Bates and ordered him held without bail on a charge of violating probation.
On Bates’ new charges, Marden granted Assistant District Attorney David Spencer’s request for $25,000 cash bail with conditions that ban Bates from use or possession of alcohol and illegal drugs. Conditions of bail also prohibit Bates from contact with the contractors listed as victims as well as with Mills.
“The defendant is on probation with a sentence of nine years and three months hanging over him,” Spencer said. He also said Bates failed to report to his probation officer.
“We do consider him a significant risk for flight, your honor,” Spencer said.
Bates is scheduled to be in court again on the new charges 8:30 a.m. June 4.
Bates was represented by Thomas Nale, as attorney of the day, who asked that Bates’ bail be reviewed once an attorney is appointed.
The judge told Bates he also owes $450 in unpaid fines, and that could be addressed later as well.
In late March, Bates was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with all but nine months suspended, and seven years’ probation for stealing a tailgate, machinery and dozens of tools from local contractors and construction sites over a 19-month period. He was also ordered to pay up to $65,225 restitution.
Because he had been held for some time before pleading guilty, he was released almost immediately.
After Monday’s hearing, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said her office would be seeking to have Bates serve the more than nine years remaining on the probated sentence as well as a consecutive sentence on the new charges.
According to an affidavit filed in court by Kennebec County Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Moody, Tiffany Fitzpatrick, 26, of Augusta, said she and Bates stole LED lights, black gloves and vise grips from Walmart on April 23 to use in burglaries that night.
She told police Bates drove them to the Pond Road, Manchester, site where Mills’ home is under construction.
“After scouting it out, they went to the house and both took multiple tools valuing approximately $4,000 (including a new Honda generator),” Moody wrote. Fitzpatrick told investigators the two unloaded the items in the kitchen at their Winter Street, Augusta, home and covered them with a blanket. They then burglarized another house under construction in Windsor, where Bates allegedly stole an air compressor, Fitzpatrick told investigators.
Early on April 24, three contractors at Mills’ home construction site reported the theft of a Honda generator, framing and nail guns and impact drivers, a chop saw and cordless screw guns, and drill bit sets.
Police later found some of the missing items at Augusta Pawn & Jewelry on Water Street in Augusta. Workers there kept the items after a couple attempted to pawn them. The store had been notified earlier in the day by Maine State Police about the theft of the air compressor from Windsor.
While Bates and Fitzpatrick were arrested and charged with burglary and theft, four others people were summoned on charges of possession of stolen property.