WESTBROOK

Rite Aid pharmacy reports prescription drug robbery

Police are investigating a robbery that occurred about 9:20 a.m. Saturday at the Rite Aid on Main Street.

Police said a man entered the store, went to the pharmacy and demanded prescription drugs. He did not show a weapon, but police were told he kept his hand in his pocket as if to conceal a weapon. Police said the man made off with an undisclosed amount of drugs,

The suspect was described as 6 feet tall, 20 to 30 years old, with a thin build. He was wearing a green hooded sweatshirt with a dark cap and blue jeans. He fled the store, and police believe he was picked up in a black Honda CRV.

It’s the second time this Rite Aid has been hit this year. The store also was robbed March 7.

Anyone with information is asked to call Westbrook police at 854-0644 or the Crime Tip Hotline at 591-8117.

CHINA

Former village general store turns into residence for rats

It’s going to take at least a month to rid the former China Village General Store of dozens of rats living in and around the Main Street building, according to officials.

The rats are feeding off candy bars, boxes of cereal and other food left inside the store, which closed in February 2009, Code Enforcement Officer Scott Pierz said.

The town took action after neighbors and people visiting the nearby post office on Main Street saw rats around the building and called the town office to complain.

“I took photos through the front window,” Pierz said. “I snapped a picture of one of the rodents on the candy bar shelf, eating a Snickers bar.”

Pierz said Raymond Winn, who previously operated the store, told him the food was left in the building after it closed last year because he thought the company supplying the food would come and remove the inventory, but that didn’t happen.

Modern Pest Services of Augusta is dealing with the problem. Workers have placed bait boxes containing a substance approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency outside the store, according to Mike Peaslee, the company’s technical manager.

The substance ultimately kills the rodents and they go off to die, typically in a burrow underground where rats nest. The boxes are designed so that other animals, such as cats, cannot get inside them, he said.

HARPSWELL

Home invasion, assault injures 77-year-old woman

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a home invasion on Basins Point Road on Friday night.

Police said a man wearing a ski mask broke into a home shortly after 9 p.m., assaulted a 77-year-old woman and stole prescription medicine.

The woman, who was knocked to the floor and suffered a minor knife wound, was taken to Parkview Hospital in Brunswick for treatment.

Brunswick police and the sheriff’s department searched for the suspect using a police dog. Anyone with information is asked to call 893-2810.

MACHIAS

Authorities arrest two men for spree of home burglaries

Police say they’ve arrested two men in connection with a home burglary spree that covered at least five counties in Maine and affected nearly 40 victims.

Police said they’ve recovered over $20,000 worth of property, such as wood splitters, generators, outboards, a boat, and other items.

The Bangor Daily News said 53-year-old Richard “Twitch” Merritt of Thorndike and 42-year-old Randy Millay of Machiasport were arrested.

Police said the burglaries occurred from northern Washington County all the way to central Waldo County.

LEWISTON

Maine strawberry crop arrives two weeks early

Warm, sunny weather has led to an early strawberry crop in Maine.

The strawberries arrived up to two weeks early in some parts of the state.

“We’ve been picking for more than a week and a half,” said Kate Brennan of Ridgeview Farm in Greene.

Brennan said the crop is very sweet this year. “This year’s berries taste wonderful,” she told the Lewiston Sun-Journal.

The crop hasn’t been without its challenges. While the warm weather and sun led the strawberries to mature faster, a hard frost killed as much as 25 to 30 percent of the area’s strawberries, said Tori Jackson, an educator for agriculture and natural resources with the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension office in Lisbon.

AUGUSTA

State parks, historic sites open for free next Sunday

This Father’s Day, Mainers can visit state parks and historic sites for free as part of the Bureau of State Parks and Lands’ annual Maine Day.

WCSH-TV reported one event this year is the firing up of a 150-year-old oven at the Fort Knox state historic site in Prospect that will cook up some baked goods. The oven was used to feed soldiers garrisoned at the fort.

Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 20.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Maine state parks system.