2012-02-16 / Front Page

Arundel pair indicted for local scams

BY BETH BROGAN Times Record Staff

BRUNSWICK — A Cumberland County grand jury indicted a second Arundel man on felony burglary and theft charges for what police say was a string of burglaries that occurred in Brunswick during September 2011.

Joshua Croteau, 20, of 9 Linda Ave., Arundel, was indicted last week on three counts of felony burglary, as well as seven lesser charges related to the alleged crimes.

Marc Croteau, 46, also of 9 Linda Ave., Arundel, was indicted in December on four counts of felony burglary and eight related charges.

According to Brunswick Police Detective Bill Moir, the two men allegedly ran a scheme in the area in which they posed as tree trimmers. That ruse allowed them to steal jewelry valued at close to $5,000, as well as power tools and a television from three victims in Brunswick, according to Moir. Moir said a witness contacted Brunswick police to report men soliciting work without the proper license.

Police put the pieces of the burglaries together after Freeport police stopped a car on Mallett Drive on Sept. 15, and recovered more than 20 pieces of jewelry and other items, according to Moir.

During that incident, both men — who Moir said are related, although the relationship is unclear — allegedly fled from the vehicle, resulting in additional charges.

Marc Croteau was previously convicted in West Bath District Court of theft of services (2008) and for a transient seller registration violation (2004), according to The Times Record archives.

In 2003, Detective Sgt. John Burne of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department said he and Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski charged Croteau after Croteau and his colleagues ran a scheme in which they knocked on doors and offered to “pave your driveway cheap,” saying they had extra materials left over from a nearby job. Then they would disappear with cash, usually from elderly victims.

“These men were going around town, door to door, without a transient seller’s license,” Moir said Wednesday. “I’d like to make people aware that it’s illegal and they need to report it to the police department. If they’re confronted (by someone soliciting work), ask for a transient seller’s license.”

Residents who are suspicious of such incidents should attempt — safely — to get a license plate number to report to police, Moir said.

Typical schemes include people offering to rake snow from roofs, pave driveways and trim trees.

Sometimes, one person will ask to use the bathroom, providing an opportunity for them to steal prescription medication or money, according to Moir.

“But there are things people can do to help themselves,” he said. “Don’t let them into your house. Photograph items like jewelry. Record the serial numbers of items that have them, and store that information safely. Lock up your jewelry, and bolt safes to the floor.”

In addition to three Class B burglary counts, Joshua Croteau was indicted last week on a Class D and two Class E counts of theft, two Class D and a Class E count of receiving stolen property, and a Class E count of refusing to submit to arrest or detention.

In addition to Class B and C burglary charges, Marc Croteau was indicted on two Class D counts of receiving stolen property, two Class D counts of theft, and Class E counts of theft and receiving stolen property.

Other counts against Marc Croteau include operating after license suspension or revocation, criminal operating under the influence and refusing to submit to arrest, for a Sept. 5 incident investigated by Brunswick police.

| Police warn that any person knocking on doors soliciting work — tree trimming, raking snow from roofs or paving driveways, for example — should have a transient seller’s license. Residents who are suspicious of such incidents should attempt — safely — to get a license plate number to report to police. Never let a “worker” into your home to use the bathroom, since it’s an opportunity for them to steal prescription drugs, jewelry and other valuables. |



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