AUGUSTA — A Litchfield man was arrested Monday afternoon on allegations he stole and drank a box of wine at Walmart on Civic Center Drive, and also burned purses and a knife so the store items were “easier to steal,” police said.

Jacob Lorance, 30, was arrested on a probation hold and subsequently charged with two counts of arson and one count of theft by unauthorized taking — elevated by two prior convictions — after the incident.

After Lorance was arrested and taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta, he allegedly told police that he committed the crime to get his ex-girlfriend’s attention.

Augusta Police Officer Nicholas Sterling responded to Walmart after a loss prevention employee alerted them to a man shoplifting and burning merchandise, according to an affidavit.

In an initial conversation with Sterling and the employee, Lorance said he did not steal anything, nor light any merchandise on fire. The loss prevention employee told Sterling that Lorance had stolen and consumed a box of wine in the lobby of the Dunkin’ Donuts inside the store.

After the conversation moved into the loss prevention office, Lorance admitted to setting purses on fire in order to make them “easier to steal,” according to the affidavit. He also admitted to setting fire to the packaging for a knife in order to get access to it. The affidavit did not go into detail on the damage to the purses, but said Walmart would not be able to sell them.

Shortly before being arrested on the probation hold leveled for consuming alcohol, Lorance said he did not steal the wine he consumed, but the affidavit said he passed all registers before entering the Dunkin’ Donuts. He also was in possession of a bracelet for which he did not pay, police said.

At the jail, Lorance had a blood-alcohol content of 0.24, which is three times the legal driving limit of 0.08.

He was held on $25,000 bail.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME


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