The Damariscotta Police Department has charged six people with stealing from Hannaford Supermarket in the last month, including five in the span of a week.
The store has a high level of security and surveillance, according to Sgt. Jason Warlick – a fact the department hopes will discourage future thefts.
“They have a plethora of cameras spread throughout that store, both inside and outside, with heavy surveillance on the alcohol area,” said Sgt. Jason Warlick. “They also have a top-notch loss prevention management team.”
The thefts fall into three categories, according to Warlick.
“What we’re seeing is a large influx of self-checkout-related thefts – consumers trying to deceive the self-checkout machines – as well as alcohol-related thefts,” Warlick said.
The third category involves “consumers trying to load up a shopping cart and literally walk out the door without paying for anything,” Warlick said.
The department charged the following individuals in connection with incidents at Hannaford from Feb. 12 to March 7:
Melanie M. Hilton, 29, of Waldoboro, faces a charge of class E theft by deception in connection with an incident on Feb. 12.
Kevin L. Dufour, 39, of Bristol, faces a charge of class E theft by deception in connection with an incident on Feb. 29.
Kent M. Little, 20, of Bremen, faces a charge of class C theft by unauthorized taking or transfer in connection with an incident on Feb. 29. Little faces a felony charge due to prior convictions for burglary and theft. He is on probation for burglary.
Collin J. Marshall, 19, of Walpole, faces four counts of class E theft by deception in connection with an incident on March 1 and three previous incidents.
Matthew Kinney, 32, of Damariscotta, faces a charge of class E theft by unauthorized taking or transfer in connection with an incident on March 5.
Peter E. Townsend, 32, of Boothbay Harbor, faces a single count each of class E theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and class E violation of condition of release in connection with an incident on March 7. Townsend also faces charges of burglary of a motor vehicle and domestic violence assault in connection with incidents in Damariscotta on March 2.
Warlick and Officers Jim Dotson, Erick Halpin, and Kyle Sylvester were the investigating officers.
Maine-ly Pawn incident
The department is asking for the public’s help in a separate matter – the disappearance of a large number of fishing rods from Maine-ly Pawn.
Warlick said the rods could have been taken by accident, in which case whoever took them would not be charged. The items were a short distance away from a “free for the taking” area at the shop.
The department asks anyone with information about the items to call the station at 563-1909.