The envelope arrived on Mayor Alan Casavant’s desk at Biddeford City Hall just like any other constituent letter, but nearly a week later he is still shaking his head over what he found inside.

Tucked in the envelope was a money order for $550 and a note describing damage the anonymous letter writer did to the city’s police station nearly 40 years ago.

“Hello Mayor,” the letter reads. “I am paying the city back for damages inflicted upon your city in the mid to late ’70s.”

The person, writing in cursive script, describes shattering the police station door, breaking a window and putting a dent in a cruiser. He also admitted to pulling fire call boxes around the same time.

The note, signed “anonymous,” includes a postscript asking the mayor to post a note in a local weekly newspaper if the amount of money included wasn’t enough to cover the damage.

The envelope had a southern Maine postmark but no other clues about its origin or the person who sent it.

The incidents took place when the police department was located beneath City Hall. The department moved to its current location on Alfred Street around 1980.

When Casavant opened the letter Friday, he saw the money order first. A copy of the letter and money order were included in the weekly city newsletter.

Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant received this letter with a $550 money order enclosed. “I showed it to (City Hall) staff because I’ve never experienced anything like that,” he said. Courtesy City of Biddeford

“I showed it to (City Hall) staff because I’ve never experienced anything like that. They were stunned by it, too,” he said. “We didn’t know what to make of it.”

Members of the police department were just as surprised by the letter and money order, Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk said. The incident occurred well before most officers started with the department, but Chief Roger Beaupre, who joined the department in 1971, said he remembers when the door of the police station was shattered. The two-way swinging glass door had a granite casing, and the metal push bar in the middle didn’t stop the door from hitting the stone if pushed too hard, he said.

“The guy left in a huff upset and pushed the door harder than he should have. It shattered the door and he took off,” Beaupre said. “Best I can remember, he was never charged.”

If there are any files related to the vandalism, they’d be stored with other old files off-site and locating them would be like searching for a needle in a haystack, Fisk said. The statute of limitations ran out years ago on whatever charges the man might have faced.

Beaupre wonders what prompted the man to write the letter so many years later.

“Apparently it’s been haunting him all these years,” he said. “We always appreciate honesty.”

The money will be put into the department’s repair and maintenance budget, Fisk said.

“We’d like to say thank you to the person and thank them for their honesty,” she said. “It certainly was a nice thing to do.”

Casavant said he’s seen Biddeford residents share the note on Facebook with comments about how it “shows there’s still good in the world.”

“To me, it says a lot about their character and where they are in their life right now,” he said.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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Twitter: @grahamgillian