AUGUSTA — Police from multiple departments are investigating recent thefts from dozens of vehicles that were left unlocked overnight across the capital region.

Interim Chief Kevin Lully of the Augusta Police Department said between 20 and 30 vehicles have been targeted in recent weeks across the city.

The incidents were “crimes of opportunity, meaning that the victims left their vehicles unlocked and the suspect(s) were able to easily gain access and steal a variety of personal belongings and money,” Lully wrote Wednesday in an email.

Augusta officers arrested Gregory Roe, 38, of Vienna on Saturday on four counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and one count each of misuse of information, stealing drugs and unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, according to police records. Roe was also arrested on a probation hold.

Roe is on probation related to his 2021 conviction on a felony-level theft charge, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

Lully and Augusta Staff Sgt. Eric Lloyd said the recent rash of vehicle break-ins remains under investigation. They declined to say whether Roe is a suspect in the thefts. Lully said more arrests are possible.


Chief Chris Lewis of the Hallowell Police Department said his department has received reports of about 20 vehicles — all unlocked — being searched by burglars in Hallowell over the past month or so.

Police are now investigating whether the Hallowell break-ins could have been committed by the suspect arrested in Augusta. Lewis said the crimes in both cities, and vehicle break-ins in nearby communities, including Manchester and Farmingdale, sound similar and could be related.

When police officers in Augusta and Hallowell and deputies from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office learned of the similar crimes, Lewis said, they decided to work together toward solving them.

“This person was basically taking advantage of an opportunity, pulling on vehicle door handles,” Lewis said. “If they were left unlocked, the (burglar) rummaged through them, taking primarily cash and gift cards.

“Since we heard Augusta made an arrest, we’re trying to see if we can solve our cases, based on what they have. We worked together to develop any information we could. It definitely sounds like all three agencies are dealing with the same person or people.”

Lt. Chris Read of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said his agency has also received reports of vehicle break-ins in recent weeks. A deputy has been working on the cases, Read said, and was planning to coordinate with other law enforcement agencies.


Augusta police have posted a notice on the department’s Facebook page that city police have recovered stolen items that appear to be linked to the recent rash of car burglaries, and officers are looking to return the items to their owners. Those who have not reported their stolen items should call Officer Sara Rogers at 207-626-2370.

Lloyd said the charge of misuse of identification can be related to someone’s using another person’s identification for personal gain, such as using a credit or debit card.

The charge of stealing drugs can be made when a person is alleged to have stolen prescription narcotics from someone else.

Lewis said the thefts have generally occurred between 1 and 5 a.m. and were reported throughout Hallowell, though mostly in the central part of the city. He said there were nine reports of items having been taken during vehicle break-ins, and 10 to 12 reports of people who had their vehicle rifled but nothing stolen.

“It’s a good reminder: Even though we live in Maine, we still need to lock our vehicles at night,” Lewis said. “If they’re unlocked, it makes it easier for people to steal our hard-earned items we put in our vehicles.”

Lloyd said Augusta residents provided tips to the Police Department that helped lead to charges against Roe.

“We encourage all citizens to contact the police when they feel behavior may be suspicious or concerning,” Lloyd said. “We believe that a thorough and complete investigation needs to be completed first before we can provide any further information as to the recent car burglaries and who may or may not be involved.”

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