MANCHESTER — A Farmingdale man who claimed he was hunting without a gun in the woods off Granite Hill Road has been charged after allegedly breaking into a barn in a bid to steal copper.

Brock Hamilton, 26, was arrested on charges of violating conditions of release, theft and criminal trespass.

Hamilton, who was clad in a blaze-orange vest, said he was hunting when discovered by deputies, said Lt. Ryan Reardon, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

“No weapon was recovered,” Reardon said. “They did recover a pair of bolt cutters and a pair of wire cutters.”

Tonia Sirois, 30, of Augusta, who was with Hamilton, was issued summonses charging her with theft and criminal trespass.

Hamilton, whom police continued to interview Tuesday afternoon, may be connected to other burglaries in the area, Reardon said. 

“There is a possibility of other criminal charges in connection with other break-ins,” Reardon said.

The pair was discovered around 11 a.m. Tuesday outside a home off Granite Hill Road — Reardon declined to give the specific location — after the homeowner called police.

Reardon said an elderly woman at the address had reported that on at least four occasions recently, a vehicle with a man and woman inside had parked in the driveway and then disappeared behind her barn.

“She suspected they were out there taking copper,” Reardon said.

Deputy David Bucknam, a detective with Kennebec County’s Major Crimes Unit, set up surveillance equipment Tuesday morning. A few hours later, the homeowner called to say the man and woman were back, Reardon said. Bucknam and other deputies arrived to find a black Toyota Echo in the driveway with a woman, later found to be Sirois, sitting inside.

Hamilton stepped out of the woods as deputies were talking to Sirois, Reardon said.

Hamilton and Sirois were cooperative, Reardon said.

Deputies think Hamilton was stealing copper wire.

“He said he was out there hunting,” Reardon said.

Deputies found pieces of wire in the car. Reardon said it is unclear whether the wire was stolen from the Granite Hill Road home or elsewhere.

Reardon asked anyone who has seen a black Toyota Echo in the area, with a passenger acting suspiciously, to call Bucknam at 623-3614, ext. 1312.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
ccrosby@centralmaine.com