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PI police arrest suspect in string of thefts

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Police arrested a 23-year-old man Tuesday and charged him in connection with multiple home burglaries and vehicle thefts in the city over the last month.

Police charged Robert William Dobbins of Presque Isle with burglary, theft and aggravated criminal mischief, according to Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin.

Dobbins allegedly stole various items from multiple homes and vehicles, including at the Northern Maine Community College parking lot, going back to Feb. 21.

Irwin said police arrested Dobbins Tuesday morning after a probation meeting at which he tested positive for heroin.

Dobbins first emerged as a potential suspect on Feb. 21 when residents called the police to report a suspicious person who appeared to be checking if doors on homes were unlocked, the chief said. Police responding to the area met and talked with Dobbins but did not have a cause to arrest him at the time.

In the following days, several homeowners in that same area called to report burglaries. Separately, the police also received complaints about thefts in a different part of the city from vehicles in the parking lot at Northern Maine Community College.

Later, a resident of a Beacon Street home reported that copper piping had been cut and stolen from the basement. Irwin said police traced the copper theft back to Dobbins through the pawnbroker that purchased the materials. Dobbins also was accused of shoplifting from Rite Aid on March 3.

Irwin said that Dobbins was charged in connection with several of the incidents, including the Beacon Street theft of copper piping. Police still are looking for more evidence in at least five open burglary cases, the chief said.

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