WATERVILLE — Two Waterville teens summoned for stealing ropes course training equipment from a Waterville Junior High School shed are charged with felony burglary.

The 17-year-olds allegedly broke into a shed behind the school on West River Road last week and stole more than $1,000 worth of ropes, an 8-foot step ladder and other equipment, according to Deputy police Chief Charles Rumsey.

They carried the items, as well as a soccer net they allegedly stole from the school  soccer field, to their campsite on trails behind the school and apparently used the soccer net as a hammock, Rumsey said.

“They are previous students of the junior high school because they referenced having known about the ropes course but never having been able to take part in it,” Rumsey said.

He said the teens will appear Oct. 15 in Waterville District Court. They and two other youths had been camping behind the school. The pair allegedly used a tire iron Aug. 20 to break the lock on the shed and took four sections of thick, 100-foot-long climbing rope, worth between $200 and $250 each, as well as two carabiner clips worth $75 each and used to connect the sections of rope, Rumsey said.

He said the ropes and soccer nets were recovered, but the teens said they threw the carabiner clips into the woods.

Meanwhile, police were notified of the burglary and theft Aug. 21, and Officer Damon Lefferts tracked down the teens, summoned them and charged them with class C felony burglary and class D misdemeanor criminal mischief, Rumsey said.

Rumsey said Lefferts started checking the area and met employees of nearby Thomas College who said a man walking his dog on the trails told them he saw a campsite with several tents set up, as well as a red car with serious rear body damage parked in the area of the junior high school.

Lefferts recognized the red vehicle as the same one a Thomas security guard had told him about earlier. The guard said he had confronted four youths in a red car who told him they wanted to camp out on the trails. The guard told them they could not do that, Rumsey said.

Meanwhile, the guard took the youths’ names and noted the numbers on the car’s registration plate, Rumsey said.

“The college gave the registration and names of the juveniles to Lefferts who found  the vehicle and the stolen rope in the vehicle,” he said. “It was very good work by Officer Lefferts. He was able to recover almost all of the stolen items.”

The teens were released to their parents after being charged, he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]


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