AUGUSTA — Two men are facing charges in connection with separate burglaries and police are searching for two men responsible for a third after alert neighbors reported the three different city heists Thursday.

“In these incidents, all three, we couldn’t have done it without the public’s assistance,” Augusta Police Lt. Christopher Massey said. “Just being observant of their neighbors led to charges in two out of three of these burglaries.”

Brian Cray, 22, of Gardiner, was arrested by police responding to a morning break-in on Washington Street and charged with burglary, criminal mischief and violating conditions of release. Cray, who was given a suspended sentence less than three weeks ago in Kennebec County Superior Court, was being held at the Kennebec County jail without bail, Massey said.

Benjamin Chabot, 25, of Augusta, was arrested by police responding to an afternoon burglary on Red Maple Lane and charged with burglary, theft and violating conditions of release. Chabot also was issued warrants charging him with $870 worth of unpaid fines, Massey said.

Police continue to search for two men believed responsible for a burglary on Eastern Avenue just an hour after the Red Maple Lane burglary.

Chabot and Cray were arrested after neighbors noticed something suspicious and called police, Massey said.

The first of the three reports of a burglary in progress, on Washington Street, was called into dispatchers at 10 a.m. The man, later identified by police as Cray, ran from the area but was later found and arrested on Mount Vernon Avenue.

“He fled when we got there,” Massey said. “He didn’t get a chance to take anything.”

The second burglary in progress, on Red Maple Lane, was reported at 3 p.m. Neighbors reported an unfamiliar vehicle in a nearby yard. The vehicle was gone when police arrived, but officers believed one of the burglars fled on foot. With the help of a Maine State Police trooper and a tracking dog, Augusta officers tracked the suspect, later identified as Chabot, to West River Road and arrested him, Massey said.

At least some of the undisclosed items taken from the home were recovered, Massey said.

As police were involved in that track, shortly after 4 p.m., officers were called to a third burglary on Eastern Avenue. The caller said two men attempted to break into a neighbor’s house and jumped over a fence as they fled. A state police dog tracked the men to Hospital Street. Police believe they got into a car and left and that they got away with stolen items.

Cray and Chabot have both been convicted of theft within the past seven months.

Cray was sentenced Aug. 15 to the 10 days he had already served when he was sentenced in Kennebec County Superior Court for a conviction of theft by receiving stolen property. Cray, who also was given a 354-day suspended sentence, was one of three men who ended up in frigid water when two all terrain vehicles sank late at night Feb. 14 on the Kennebec River off Gardiner. Cray was riding a stolen ATV.

Chabot was sentenced in February in Augusta District Court to nine days in jail for a conviction of theft by receiving stolen property.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]


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