Tuesday, March 11, 2014
PORTLAND — Investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday that they have solved three residential burglaries, including one that involves a mother of three young children.
Capt. Donald Goulet said three children, all younger than 10, were in the family car while their mother, Samantha M. Ballard, 31, of Standish burglarized a home on Windy Circle in Standish the night of June 1.
Police said they were made aware of the circumstances by the homeowner, who arrived to find the car parked in his driveway, the children sitting inside.
After a few moments, the owner met Ballard as she exited his home.
He said she told him that she had returned his dog, which she claimed to have found wandering on the road. Later that night, the owner discovered that several items were missing, including toys, jewelry and clothing.
Ballard was charged the next day with burglary and theft, but Goulet said the mother has not been indicted or arrested. The state has been notified about the allegations and about her children being present in the car.
Goulet said he's not sure whether Ballard is married.
''She told us she needed the money and that some of the stuff was for her kids,'' Goulet said.
Investigators also made arrests in connection with home burglaries that took place in Harpswell and North Yarmouth earlier this month.
Seth T. Brewster, 21, of Cumberland and Barry T. Coolbrith, 21, of North Yarmouth have been charged with burglary and theft in connection with a Bristol Lane burglary. They made bail and are scheduled to be arraigned July 15.
The men allegedly entered the North Yarmouth home during the day on June 2. All of the stolen items have been recovered.
Kevin G. Neugebauer, 21, of Carson City, Nev., was arrested June 1 in connection with an apartment burglary that took place in late May on Dyer's Cove Road in Harpswell.
Goulet said investigators were able to locate Neugebauer by working in cooperation with officers in Sagadahoc County, where he was a suspect in several burglaries.
He allegedly sold stolen jewelry to a pawn shop in Brunswick.
Neugebauer had been staying in Harpswell with his sister. He is being held at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham pending his trial date.
Neugebauer is on probation in connection with a home burglary that took place in Nevada and for failing to legally have his probation transferred to Maine.
Goulet said the sheriff's department has been tracking burglaries since January and has noticed ''a significant spike in burglaries and thefts throughout Cumberland County.''
The tough economy might be a factor, but Goulet said people trying to come up with cash to support a drug habit is likely another reason for the increase.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: