Kennebunk police have charged a man with putting disturbing notes with sexual overtones in two mailboxes in Kennebunk, and are investigating whether he left a similar note in a third mailbox in Arundel.
Based on tips that came in after releasing a homeowner’s surveillance video of the suspect, police charged Robert C. Simkowitz, 39, of Old Orchard Beach.
“As you can imagine, we’ve been inundated with calls since this story first broke,” said Lt. Dan Jones, head of detectives for the Kennebunk police.
“They were either actively watching someone walking down the street and said ‘this could be your guy’ or they knew of someone who fit the description. This case was the latter,” he said. Police received more than one call from people who recognized the suspect’s face or his distinctive walk, Jones said.
Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach police interviewed Simkowitz and issued him a summons on two counts of criminal threatening. He is scheduled to appear in Biddeford District Court on Sept. 3.
Simkowitz could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Jones said Simkowitz has no previous criminal record. He was unaware of whether Simkowitz had offered any explanation for his alleged actions.
A man with his name, who lists his hometown as Old Orchard Beach, has a Facebook page that describes his occupation as rides operator at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach and says he is a 1994 graduate of Thornton Academy. A person with the same name is enrolled as an artist with Yes Art Works, a group that supports artists with developmental and other disabilities in Maine, according to the group’s website.
Notes were left in two mailboxes in Kennebunk on June 5 and one in Arundel on Monday. The handwritten notes in the two mailboxes on Ross Road in Kennebunk were signed “pervert.” A similar note was left in the Arundel mailbox, police said.
The letters were hand-delivered Tuesday evening by a man on foot. The surveillance footage shot at one of the homes and provided to police shows a middle-age man with curly hair and possibly a beard stopping at one of the mailboxes, police said.
One of the notes read, “I will not stay away from your kids. Your friend, pervert.”
“Anytime somebody threatens children and especially when he signs it ‘pervert,’ the obvious thought of that is it’s going to be sexual in nature. Just that possibility, that notion, strikes fear into any parent,” Jones said.
Police said they believe the mailboxes were chosen at random. Simkowitz has no known connection to the people who live at either of the Ross Road addresses. Only one of the houses is home to minor children.
Deputies were investigating whether there was a connection between Simkowitz and the Arundel residents who received the third note.
Chief Deputy William King of the York County Sheriff’s Office, which covers Arundel, commended Kennebunk police.
“It was kind of a violation,” King said of the letters. “We strive for people to feel safe in their homes. … This was some kind of subtle threat and upset their well-being.”