AUGUSTA — An Augusta man nabbed at gunpoint by the property owner from whom he was allegedly stealing copper, metal and steel has been indicted on 14 charges.

A Kennebec County grand jury this week indicted Earl E. Moore, 40, on seven counts of burglary and seven counts of theft by unauthorized taking.

The indictment alleges that, between Jan. 1 and March 22, Moore repeatedly broke into an Augusta building owned by Lionel and Raymond Rodrigue and stole thousands of dollars worth of material, including copper pipes and wire, stainless steel washers and sprinkler parts.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but is an indication that sufficient evidence is present to proceed with formal charges and a trial in superior court.

Moore, who had been free on bail, was arrested Tuesday by agents of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency on drug trafficking and motor vehicle offenses unrelated to the alleged metal thefts. Moore, who also was charged with violating conditions of release, was being held at the Kennebec County jail Friday without bail.

Moore was originally arrested in April after Raymond Rodrigue and a friend, Steven Sanborn, staked out Rodrigue’s barn on Cony Road after the building had been burglarized on several occasions over several weeks.


Two nights after an Easter Sunday break-in, Rodrigue and Sanborn, armed with a shotgun and 9-mm handguns, waited in a dark corner of the barn for the burglars to return.

Rodrigue said Moore worked his way down the length of the barn collecting items to steal until he was within a few feet of the men. At that point, Rodrigue switched on the light and ordered Moore to the floor at gunpoint.

The men detained Moore until police arrived.

Rodrigue, hoping to catch those responsible for the repeated break-ins at the barn, had set up cameras to try to get a picture of the robbers. The photos allegedly captured peopled entering and leaving the barn, often carrying duffle bags full of wire and fittings and handfuls of copper piping.

One of the duffle bags Moore was carrying the night of his arrest had allegedly been stolen from Rodrigue’s barn several weeks before.

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