of getaway is

just criminal

The thief was ridiculed in the New York media for driving off with a mini-pavement roller from a business in the Bronx in a brazen, albeit slow-speed heist.

But New York City detectives weren’t joking when they charged Mark Bureau 37, of 106 Pleasant St. in Saco with grand larceny for allegedly stealing the Multiquip Ride-On Vibratory Roller, which they say is worth upward of $20,000.

A joint investigation by Saco and New York City police led to Bureau’s arrest. He appeared in court Wednesday and waived extradition, agreeing to go to New York to face the charges.

Police in New York were investigating the April 16 theft of the small piece of heavy equipment and had security camera video but few leads. The case received a lot of media attention in New York and detectives released surveillance video that showed a man driving the equipment off a vacant lot.

New York police were stumped until they received a tip that Bureau was a suspect.

Saco police used photographs and other information to confirm Bureau was the culprit, Saco Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Holland said.

Bureau knows his gear. He is in the paving business, Holland said. He was working in another part of New York City the day of the theft.

The stolen paving roller was turned in by a contractor who works out of the Shapleigh-Sanford area and had bought it for $1,600, Holland said. The contractor could be out that money, but is probably relieved he hasn’t been charged with possession of stolen materials. The rock-bottom price for the equipment, which costs more than $20,000 new and $5,000 to $10,000 used, should have been a tip-off the equipment was hot, Holland said.

“If you didn’t know, you probably should have known,” he said.

The recovered paver had a house key jammed into its ignition, which was used to start it, Holland said.

Police haven’t pursued charges against the contractor who bought the paver because the equipment was turned in and because it’s unclear where the sale took place, Holland said.

The owner is planning to come to Maine later this week to recover the equipment, Holland said.

New York police interviewed Bureau on Monday. He was arrested Tuesday and taken to York County Jail in Alfred.

Saco police say Bureau has no criminal record with them, but the State Bureau of Identification says Bureau was convicted of theft in 1995, theft of services in 1996 and home repair fraud in 1999, all misdemeanors.

Police say they don’t know how Bureau got the paver to Maine. It’s unlikely he drove. The vehicle has a top speed of 4.8 mph. As a getaway car, it would take 62 hours to get from New York City to Saco.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @Mainehenchman