WATERVILLE — Police are warning holiday shoppers to be wary of car burglaries after three vehicles were broken into in 96 minutes Monday night.

Waterville police Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said a visible purse or bag was the common factor in all three incidents.

“Every year we see an increase in these types of crimes around the holidays,” said Rumsey, who encouraged shoppers to not leave valuables or purchases in view of passersby.

“The thief knows there’s immediate access to the bag and its contents, whether that’s prescription drugs or cash or credit cards,” Rumsey said.

Monday’s first car burglary was reported at 6:22 p.m.

Rumsey said a window was broken and a purse snatched from a vehicle parked at Elm City Photo on Main Street.


At 7:25 p.m. a bag was snatched from an unlocked vehicle near Family Dollar Store in the Concourse, Rumsey said,

Then, at 7:58 p.m., also in the Concourse parking lot, a woman reported her vehicle’s front passenger side window had been smashed and that a canvas bag had been taken.

“We investigate every one of these and we do our best but they’re difficult to solve unless a witness sees it and gets a license number,” Rumsey said.

As of Tuesday morning, no arrests had been made, but Rumsey said as police searched the area after the first reported burglary they saw a man who had two active warrants.

The man, Paul Dexter Burnham, 36, of 37 Pleasant St., Apt. 5, Waterville, was arrested on the warrants on Chaplin Street.

Rumsey said shoplifting and theft of purses from shopping carts are also common crimes during the holiday season.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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