SKOWHEGAN — Two of Skowhegan’s ice cream parlors were among businesses hit by burglars overnight Sunday, according to police.
The Ice Cream Shoppe on North Avenue and Island Dairy Treat on Island Avenue, between the Margaret Chase Smith bridges, were targets, as were the offices of HealthReach Network on North Avenue and LaCasse Shoe Repair on Water Street, downtown, Police Chief Ted Blais said.
“One of the ice cream shops had a camera,” Blais said. “We have a really good lead; it looks like they’re all connected.”
As with five other seemingly related burglaries downtown in December, would-be thieves smashed windows and glass doors to gain entry. Nothing appeared to have been stolen in Monday’s breaks, Blais said.
The report of the HealthReach break-in was the first to be reported Monday morning.
“They broke the back window and got in. Went through the offices,” Blais said. “At this time we can’t find anything missing — just a lot of damage. It’s really pointless, senseless.”
Blais estimated at least $1,000 in damage to the building that houses WIC, the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.
At The Ice Cream Shoppe, the scenario was much the same — about $1,000 in damage from the break-in, but nothing reported stolen.
At Island Dairy Treat, burglars broke a window, made their way in and rummaged through cabinets and drawers, but nothing appeared to be missing there, either, Blais said.
At LaCasse shoe store, which had been the target of burglary and theft in the December spree, a rear window was broken butno one entered, Blais said.
Skowhegan police are still investigating the December downtown burglaries. Five businesses, including the Morning Sentinel offices, were broken into by thieves looking for cash, police said. Merchandise and other items, such as laptop computers, cellphones and cameras that might be difficult to conceal or to sell later, were passed over.
In February, thieves smashed a glass door on the Commercial Street side of Russakoff Jewelers, according to police. Inside the store, burglars smashed glass display cases and made off with as much as $10,000 in watches, rings and other jewelry.
Activity was recorded on two of the 14 downtown surveillance cameras, police said. Hours after the break-in at Russakoff’s, police in Waterville detained two men who allegedly were trying to sell items believed to have been stolen from the jewelry store, Blais said.
James A. Williams, 32, of McClellan Street, Skowhegan, was arrested by Waterville police on charges of possession of prescription drugs and falsifying physical evidence in an unrelated case. Williams was turned over to Skowhegan police and was charged with theft by receiving stolen property and a probation hold.
Steven R. Warfield, 36, of Moscow, also was arrested on a charge of theft by receiving stolen property and a probation hold.
Blais said both cases have been reviewed by the district attorney’s office for possible charges related to the Skowhegan burglary. He said Monday the investigation is almost complete and that charges will be brought as early as this week.
“One of those guys really wants to work it all out,” Blais said. “That’s good for him, good for us, good for everybody.”