Two Hartland men were charged Thursday with burglary of an Athens store, the second burglary they were charged with in what the Somerset County sheriff described as a “mini crime spree.”

Matthew Shaw, 19, and Michael McGregor, 22, both of Hartland, have been charged with burglarizing Jim’s Variety in Athens on Jan. 16 and an attempted burglary at the Athens Corner Store the same night.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said the two said they committed the Athens crimes and that Shaw also said he broke into Nettie’s Diner in Hartland, Wright’s General Store in Hartland multiple times and Patterson’s on Jan. 8 in Burnham.

“It’s clear that these individuals were on a mini crime spree,” he said Thursday afternoon.

Shaw and McGregor, along with two others, were arrested Jan. 19 in connection with the burglary at Patterson’s. A fifth suspect had been arrested Jan. 15 in connection with that burglary.

McGregor, already being held at the Somerset County Jail, was charged Jan. 17 with burglary, theft and robbery in connection with the Athens break-ins.


Shaw, in custody at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, was charged Tuesday.

The burglary Jan. 16 at Jim’s Variety netted thieves $1,500 worth of tobacco products. The same night, the back door at the Corner Store was jimmied in an attempted burglary there, causing $1,500 worth of damage. Owners of the Corner Store offered a $500 cash reward for information leading to the arrests of whoever committed the crimes.

Some of the stolen merchandise was recovered during the execution of a search warrant in Hartland, Lancaster said.

Once Shaw and McGregor were identified as suspects in the Athens cases, Somerset County sheriff’s detectives and troopers from state police Troop C met to coordinate the investigative efforts, Lancaster said.

He said that “collaboration between the local state police and the detectives here at Somerset was instrumental in the solving of these burglaries.”

On Dec. 28, Nettie’s Diner on Commercial Street in Hartland was broken into and cartons of cigarettes were stolen. A tracking dog found that a vehicle had been parked nearby and had left the area, Lancaster said. He said police identified Shaw as a suspect.


On Jan. 8, Patterson’s General Store in Burnham was burglarized, and burglars knocked the owner down while fleeing.

Detective Gerry Lincoln, of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department, who was the primary investigator in that burglary, identified Shaw and McGregor as suspects along with the three others who have been charged in that burglary, Lancaster said.

On Jan. 16, Deputy Wilfred Dodge, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, responded to an attempted burglary at the Athens Corner Store.

That investigation revealed during review of the surveillance tapes that shortly after 1:30 a.m., a person attempted to enter the store, causing extensive damage to the door. The same night, Maine State Police Trooper David Power responded to a burglary alarm at Jim’s Variety Store in Athens to find it had been broken into and cigarettes and chewing tobacco had been stolen.

On Jan. 19, Deputy Toby Blodgett and Trooper John York found McGregor and Shaw in Hartland and took them into custody on arrest warrants that had been issued on the Waldo County burglaries. Both men, charged with burglary, theft and robbery, were taken to the Waldo County jail and then to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

On Jan. 27, Detective Mike Ross and Trooper John York interviewed McGregor at the Somerset County jail. Lancaster said McGregor said he committed the burglary at Jim’s Variety.


On Feb. 2, Ross interviewed Shaw at the Wiscasset jail, where he allegedly said he committed the Athens burglary as well as those in Hartland and Burnham, according to police.

Somerset County detectives and state police troopers from Troop C will meet with the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office soon to solidify charges, Lancaster said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


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