WATERVILLE — A man was arrested on multiple burglary charges Wednesday night after police saw him on a surveillance video and recognized him as the person they had just passed drinking coffee on the street.

The man, Frank Bowman, 49, of 209 College Ave., allegedly broke into Waterville Tire near his home early Wednesday. Detectives also linked him to two burglaries at Kennebec Water District and one at Central Maine Motors last year, said police Chief Joseph Massey.

Bowman’s record includes convictions for robbery and armed robbery in Massachusetts, he said.

“I’m pretty pleased we got this guy off the street,” Massey said Thursday. “My sense is, he would have continued committing burglaries.”

The events leading to Bowman’s capture unfolded early Wednesday when police were called to C.O. Beck & Sons on Eastern Avenue because of a burglar alarm.

The building appeared to be secure, Massey said. Thirty minutes later, another alarm sounded at Beck and officers returned, again finding it secure. Later, after a third alarm, officers found the front door ajar and looking as if someone had tried to yank it open, Massey said. They also found a back door open.

Officers checked other area buildings and found pry marks on the front door of the Xpress Lube on nearby College Avenue, he said.

About 8 a.m., someone from Waterville Tire on College Avenue reported a burglary, and Detective Alan Perkins went there; Detective David Caron headed to C.O. Beck and Xpress Lube to collect evidence, Massey said. Caron then went to meet up with Perkins at Waterville Tire.

“When he was driving by 209 College Ave., he recognized an individual standing outside wearing a sweatshirt and drinking a cup of coffee,” Massey said. “Dave (Caron) was familiar with this person, who was suspected in prior burglaries.”

When Caron arrived at Waterville Tire, he and Perkins watched a surveillance video of the burglary there. Caron recognized the man who had been standing on the street earlier as the man in the video, Massey said.

“Caron said, ‘Hey, that’s Bowman, and I just passed him,'” Massey said. “They went back over there and spoke to him (Bowman). He was not cooperative — really didn’t speak to the officers.”

Police searched Bowman’s apartment, found items linked to the Waterville Tire burglary, and arrested him, Massey said.

He was charged with four counts of burglary, as well as theft and criminal mischief. He also was charged with the burglaries at Kennebec Water District in February and June 2010 as well as the February 2010 burglary at Central Maine Motors on Kennedy Memorial Drive, Massey said.

“We have not charged him with the C.O. Beck or the attempted break-in at the oil lube shop as of yet,” he said.

In the February 2010, more than $1,000 in cash was taken from the Kennebec Water District, and the building sustained $900 in damage. That June, it was burglarized again and more than $1,000 was taken and about $1,200 in damage was reported. Nothing appeared to have been taken in the Central Maine Motors burglary, according to Massey.

Bowman’s criminal record stretches back to 1981, when he was convicted of larceny of a motor vehicle in Plymouth, Mass., for which he served six months in jail, according to Massey. He also has been convicted previously in Massachusetts of armed robbery, possessing a gun as a felon, and violating his supervised release.

Massey said Bowman also was convicted in Maine of operating under the influence three times during 2008 and 2009, and violating a protective order in 2010.

He said Bowman is being held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, where his bail includes $5,000 cash for each of the four counts of burglary. He is scheduled to appear Sept. 13 in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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