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String of burglaries prompts community meeting with law enforcement in Wells

Since November, police said, several homes and businesses have been burglarized. Four people have been arrested.

WELLS, Maine — The traditionally quiet town of Wells has fallen victim to a string of thefts and burglaries at local businesses and homes since late November. 

According to information shared by police, from $150 cash to more than $10,000 of cash and merchandise have been stolen.

"The town of Wells in my estimation has become a victim of circumstance," said Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam. 

Putnam and York County Sheriff William King were on hand at the Wells Board of Selectmen's meeting on Tuesday evening to help answer community questions and concerns about the incidents. 

According to Putnam, four people have since been charged with theft-related crimes in connection to the string of burglaries. 

According to police, businesses like Breton's Bike & Fly Shop, Bistro at R&R Chocolates, and Congdon's Doughnuts were burglarized, as well as vehicles parked in the Hannaford parking lot and various homes across town.  Many of these incidents took place along Route 1, also known as Post Road. 

"There has never been anything like this before, as long as we've lived here," said Linda Marciano, a Wells resident of 19 years who attended Tuesday's meeting. "It's been very safe and we like the small town, but this has been ridiculous now, what's going on."

Last week, the Wells Police Department shared on social media a detailed log of incidents and arrests related to the crimes on social media. 

Press Release: Arrest Log 11/26/21 - 1/11/22 On 11/26/21, officers responded to Breton’s Bike and Fly Shop located at...

Posted by Wells Police on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Following that post, many community members expressed concern about the repeat offenses. One of the people accused in the string of burglaries is 27-year-old George Roberts. Roberts, who is currently experiencing homelessness, is facing multiple charges connected to the burglaries. 

King told NEWS CENTER Maine that due to COVID-19 and major staffing shortages, the jail is working to hold fewer residents.

"We do have an intake modification policy. We're only taking people for crimes against persons, and burglary doesn't typically rise to that level of an incarceration," said Sheriff King.

King added, however, that if the jail or sheriff's office is asked by a local police department to hold an individual due to to public safety concerns, an exception to this policy can be made. 

Following multiple theft-related charges, Roberts is now being held at the York County Jail on $5,000 bail.