One man has pleaded guilty while the cases against two other suspects in a series of burglaries at businesses in central and midcoast Maine, await an appeal to the state’s highest court.

Taylor Shultz, 37, of Limerick, pleaded guilty June 22 in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland to three counts of burglary. His sentencing will await the conclusion of the cases involving co-defendants Michael J. Warner II, 39, and Charles York, 40, both of Portland.

The three men were indicted in February 2016 on four counts of burglary, four counts of theft and four counts of criminal mischief.

The charges were connected to burglaries at:

• J.C. Penney in Rockland on Sept. 3, 2015, in which more than $10,000 in merchandise was taken;

• Townline Video Plus in Warren on Aug. 24, 2015, in which more than $10,000 in goods was reportedly taken;

• Flagship Cinema in Thomaston on Aug. 31, 2015, in which more than $1,000 was taken;

• Lincoln Country Store in Warren on May 24, 2015, when more than $1,000 was stolen.

Shultz, Warner and York were arrested three weeks after the J.C. Penney burglary.

Warner and York have also been charged with 15 counts in Cumberland County and six counts in Kennebec County. Those break-ins occurred at Wescott & Sons tractor in Gorham, Tobey’s General Store in China, the American Legion in Augusta, the Shop n’ Save in Gray, Dunkin Donuts in Scarborough, the Clam Bake restaurant in Scarborough and Twin’s Country Store in Augusta.

An affidavit filed by police in 2015 said the men were suspected in up to 25 nighttime business break-ins around the region. Police said stolen property and drugs were recovered during multiple searches. More than 80 items of evidence were seized, according to police. The total value of the items stolen and the damage to the businesses exceeds $200,000.

Charges filed in Knox County against Shultz were formally dismissed this week in Knox County following his guilty pleas in Portland.

Shultz was released on $20,000 bail after his plea. The other two remain in jail.

Shultz has prior convictions for aggravated assault in 2005, possession of oxycodone in 2006, terrorizing in 2007 and for violating conditions of release, according to paperwork filed in court.

The state is appealing to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court a Superior Court judge’s ruling that excludes some of the evidence that was to be presented at trial against Warner. The evidence involved cellphone records that showed locations for the suspect on the night of the burglaries.

No timetable for that appeal has been scheduled.

Warner had been released from prison in May 2015 after serving time on multiple convictions for burglaries and thefts from businesses, according to paperwork filed in 2015 by the prosecutor.

Multiple police agencies were involved in the investigation.

The case started to break when the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office responded to a July 30, 2015, burglary and theft at Tobey’s Grocery in China, according to the affidavit.

Video surveillance from the store showed two men walking from a park-and-ride parking lot next to the store and breaking into the grocery. The two were wearing camouflage masks and hats. In the video, after the pair leaves, a dark-colored four-door Volkswagen sedan is seen driving through the parking lot.

The Maine State Police were called in because of similar commercial burglaries in which phone and cable lines were cut before the perpetrators entered the businesses.

Later that day, police were informed that an employee of a Cumberland Farms store in Brunswick had found a blue money bag in the store’s dumpster with checks made out to Tobey’s Grocery.

Surveillance video from the Cumberland Farms showed a Volkswagen sedan pulling into the parking lot, the driver getting out, removing items from the trunk and walking toward the dumpster. The video then showed him returning to the car without anything in his hands, the police affidavit states.

One of three individuals also captured on video entering the store at that time was recognized by Maoine State Police Trooper Adam McNaughton as Warner.

Because Warner lives in Biddeford, state police sent photographs of the three to Biddeford police. That department was able to identify Shultz from the photos, according to the affidavit. York also was later identified by police from the video.

A check of the Maine Department of Motor Vehicles found that Warner owned a dark-colored four-door Volkswagen Passat that matched the vehicle seen in the videos from China and Brunswick.

Police obtained a search warrant for Warner’s and Shultz’s cellphone records and found that Shultz’s phone had gone from Biddeford to near Tobey’s Grocery in China at the time of the burglary. The phone was then tracked to the Cumberland Farms store in Brunswick at the time the three men were seen on video.

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