SKOWHEGAN — State police are calling him the backpack burglar.

Authorities have a photograph of him, taken at night with a surveillance camera inside a building he robbed recently, but police won’t say where.

Troopers don’t want to identify the building or the town because of security concerns, Lt. Donald Pomelow of State Police Troop C barracks in Skowhegan said.

The burglar is a middle-aged man, wearing large wire-rimmed glasses and a backpack. The photo was taken in late August in the Belgrade-Rome-Smithfield area, which has been hit by a rash of burglaries in recent months, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

Pomelow said burglaries with the same method of operation — they’re committed at night and the stolen items are carried away in a backpack — and police are seeking the public’s help catching the culprit.

“It’s been happening over quite a stretch — it’s been over the course of a few years that we’ve been experiencing thefts similar to what this person does,” Pomelow said Tuesday.

Somerset County Sheriff’s Department is also investigating similar burglaries in the same area, according to the department’s Detective Lt. Carl Gottardi. Camps, vacant houses and seasonal residences have been burglarized, he said, and some copper piping and household fixtures stolen.

Gottardi said an arrest for burglary was made a week ago in the Mercer-Smithfield area, but it wasn’t the backpack burglar.

Police are asking anyone with information on the burglar to call 624-7076.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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