A Hartland man was released this week into the Somerset County Community Corrections Program after his arrest Sunday night when police found him hiding in a Madison head shop, allegedly with stolen merchandise.

Christopher Gagne, 26, was found in the basement of Wicked Lettuce, described with a marijuana leaf logo on its Facebook page as being a “Bright and Cheery Smoke Shop located in Downtown Madison, ME.”

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Gagne had stolen items with him that included glass pipes, seeds, marijuana edibles, jewelry and other cannabis products. The value was estimated to be more than $2,000, the sheriff said.

The business operators are licensed medical marijuana caregivers and offer caregiver services and products during store hours to their patients.

Lancaster said the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a possible burglary in progress at 11:14 p.m. Sunday at the shop on Main Street in Madison.

Cpl. David Cole, of the sheriff’s office, responded to the call and learned that the owner of Wicked Lettuce reported seeing a person in the store on the in-store surveillance system. Cole discovered that the rear door had been opened forcibly.

“Upon meeting with the owner at the store and reviewing the surveillance footage it was determined the individual responsible was still on the premise,” Lancaster said in an email.

He said Cole and Deputy Craig Dyer did a search of the building and found a hole in the basement wall that was covered by Styrofoam. Once they removed the Styrofoam, the hole led into another basement, where two backpacks were found.

Lancaster said the backpacks matched backpacks seen on the surveillance video. Deputies found Gagne hiding in a corner. He was arrested and taken to the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

All of the reported stolen items were recovered and returned to the owner, Lancaster said. He said Gagne admitted the burglary.

Gagne was charged with burglary, class C; theft, class C; and criminal mischief, class D.

Gagne was arraigned Monday morning and placed on the Somerset County Community Corrections Program. He is scheduled to appear May 23 in the Somerset County Unified Court.

The shop was burglarized once before, Lancaster said, on Dec. 9, 2017.

“That case is still an active investigation,” he said.

In a statement emailed Tuesday to the Morning Sentinel, Faith Goguen, co-owner of Wicked Lettuce, said the business is a family operation.

“We are strong family-owned business and thankfully installed surveillance cameras and motion detectors,” Goguen said. “This alerted us to the fact he was there immediately, so we phoned the police and came right down.

“While this was an unfortunate incident, we will not allow it to get in the way of what we do here. We will rise above and continue on serving our customers, patients and this wonderful community that we now call home.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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