WATERVILLE — An 18-year-old man faces charges of theft and underage drinking after he shoplifted in view of a uniformed police officer, police said.

Officer Brian Gardiner was sitting in his cruiser in the parking lot of Cumberland Farms Friday about 11:30 p.m. when he saw Jordan Doolan, 18, of 23 Oak St., walk into the store, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.

Doolan appeared young and was walking unsteadily, Rumsey said. Gardiner went into the store, made a purchase, then waited outside until Doolan came out, Rumsey said.

“When the man came out, officer Gardiner approached him and (Doolan) quickly darted around the building in an attempt to elude officer Gardiner,” Rumsey said.

During a short pursuit, Doolan removed a bottle of fortified wine from his pants and threw it aside, Rumsey said.

After apprehending Doolan, Gardiner spoke to a store clerk who reported she had seen Doolan take the bottle. Then, while placing Doolan under arrest, Gardiner found an unopened candy bar in Doolan’s pocket, which Doolan admitted to stealing, Rumsey said.

The fortified wine, MD 20/20, was priced at $4.14. The candy bar, Snickers, was valued at $1.79.

“They were able to determine that he was intoxicated at the time of his arrest,” Rumsey said.

Rumsey said it’s unclear whether Doolan saw Gardiner prior to the incident.

“Officer Gardiner was a fully uniformed officer. That’s a small store. It’s a small parking lot,” Rumsey said. “So, I think it’s reasonable to believe that either (Doolan) saw him, or should have seen him. And, if he wasn’t aware that (Gardiner) was there, it may have been due to some level of impairment.”

Doolan was charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer — a Class E misdemeanor — which carries up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. He will also be summoned for possession of alcohol by a minor, Rumsey said.

Doolan was unable to post $100 cash bail, and was transported to Kennebec County Jail in Augusta, where he was later released.

He is scheduled to appear in Waterville District Court on March 6.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239

[email protected]

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