SKOWHEGAN — Police on Monday said a young couple out for a midnight stroll watched as a man broke into a summer sales tent at the Chapter 11 furniture discount store on Island Avenue and made off with new mattresses.

Police Chief Ted Blais said the couple said they saw the man remove two mattresses from the tent. One of the mattresses was taken to a nearby apartment house. The other was propped up against the building, ready to be taken somewhere, he said.

Blais said police have a suspect in the burglary and theft but are waiting for the district attorney’s office to give the OK to arrest him.

“The witnesses saw him go into the apartment house nearby,” he said. “Officers secured the apartment and got a search warrant and retrieved the mattress.

“We have the mattress in custody. It’s a queen size.”

Blais said it was “fantastic” that the couple called police. “They witnessed someone carrying the mattress. The people had a great look at the suspect — they were just hanging out. A beautiful night out.”

The report drew six police officers from Skowhegan, Madison and deputies from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, who used a tracking dog.

Blais said the tent is secured at night, which could mean the suspect will face a burglary charge. He said the value of each mattress is $600, which means there could be two separate theft charges.

“It’s always great when you have a good witness like that; somebody who’s not afraid to step up and say what they saw,” Blais said. “That’s how we solve crimes.”

Blais said the burglary charge will be a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The theft charge will be a misdemeanor, he said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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