Danny Arnold Photo courtesy Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

Two men have been arrested on burglary charges in the past two days following a string of more than a dozen commercial break-ins in Portland, but police have not said whether the arrests are connected to each other or to the other recent crimes.

Danny Arnold, 42, of Portland was charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief after he was caught at a construction site at 100 Fore St. early Thursday.

The historic industrial site, known as the Portland Company complex, is in the midst of an ambitious redevelopment and is home to several businesses and a new luxury marina.

Lt. Robert Martin said officers were called there at 2:42 a.m. when an alarm alerted an off-site employee that someone was inside a construction trailer. Police established a perimeter around the site and Arnold was caught as he approached a security fence, Martin said. He was taken to Cumberland County Jail and is being held in lieu of $3,000 cash bail.

A day earlier, police arrested Tim Toun, 30, of Valley Street after they responded to the Maine Historical Society, where someone had shattered a glass door pane but failed to get inside the building.

Toun was found along with another person near 25 Preble St. and taken into custody on a warrant. He was later charged with the attempted burglary of the historical society. The other person was not charged.

Police said Arnold was not the person Toun was found with. Although they are pursuing leads and investigating whether Toun was responsible for the other burglaries, no one had been charged with the 14 previous break-ins as of Thursday evening. Toun is being held on $1,500 cash bail.

“We have a person in custody for a warrant and we’re working on charges in connection with the burglaries,” Martin said after Toun’s arrest Wednesday.

Toun and Arnold are expected to make their first appearances in Cumberland County Unified Court on Friday afternoon.

The burglaries, which began July 28 and occurred at restaurants and other downtown businesses, did not follow any pattern other than the likelihood that a burglar would find cash inside.

Both men have criminal histories, according to records maintained by the State Bureau of Identification.

Arnold pleaded guilty to burglary in 2010 and was sentenced to serve nine months of a two-year sentence. He has multiple convictions for assault, domestic violence assault, carrying a concealed weapon and violating a protective order, among other charges.

His most recent conviction came in 2017 for aggravated assault and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, both felonies for which he was sentenced to serve nine months of a three-year sentence. Arnold violated his probation multiple times and was incarcerated for short periods following each violation, including one notable incident in 2018 when he was a suspect in the killing of a pregnant goat at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook.

Farm workers found the goat, which had been shot with a crossbow. Although Arnold was not charged criminally in the incident, a judge granted a protection order to keep Arnold away from the business and police charged him with a probation violation for possessing the crossbow, which is considered a dangerous weapon.

Toun’s recent criminal history includes guilty pleas in November 2018 to charges of theft, unlawful possession of drugs and violating the conditions of his release. Police had searched a car belonging to a woman who was subject to bail conditions, and Toun was a passenger in the vehicle. Because police found a crack pipe and other paraphernalia in the car, officers had probable cause to search Toun, according to a police report filed in Cumberland County Unified Court.

They found a stolen iPhone Toun had taken moments earlier from a house on Rochester Street, along with a Suboxone sublingual strip, a drug used to prevent the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Toun pleaded guilty at his first appearance in court and was sentenced to three days in jail.

 

Some of the recent Portland break-ins targeted businesses with unlocked doors, while others took place at businesses with locked doors and security systems.

Though the burglaries have been concentrated around downtown, they didn’t appear to target specific businesses. The businesses range from an optometrist’s office, apparel designer and a shop specializing in juice smoothies to a hair salon, Thai restaurant and craft beer gastropub.

Burglaries have been reported at Eyes on Rosemont on Middle Street; Maine Oyster Company on Portland Street; Maine Juice Company on Spring Street; Wallace James Clothing on High Street; Boda on Congress Street; Little Tap House on High Street; Leavitt & Sons Deli on Kennebec Street; Toni’s Touch on Forest Avenue; LB Kitchen on Congress Street; Lio Restaurant on Spring Street; Squeaky Clean Laundromat on Washington Avenue; Others! cafe at Monument Square; Bayside American Cafe on Portland Street; and Still a Good Cause thrift shop on Forest Avenue.

The burglar or burglars typically went after cash registers and safes inside the businesses, sometimes taking a register or small safe if it could not be opened. Police had advised business owners to lock up, install security systems and leave cash registers empty and open and safes secured so that a burglar would leave them alone and not try to carry them off.

 

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