September 26, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

PORTLAND

Police arrest local man in Saturday bank robbery

Portland police have arrested a man they say was responsible for a weekend bank robbery.

Police Tuesday night arrested Jamie Vandegraaf, 22, of Portland on charges of robbery in connection with the holdup at TD Bank at 449 Forest Ave. on Saturday morning.

Police said that a man entered the bank at 11:20 a.m. and said he had a weapon, though he didn’t show one. He left with an undisclosed amount of money out the rear of the building, police said.

Police said they were able to track him down at the corner of Oxford and Portland streets on Tuesday night.

“We were worried he may commit more crimes,” said Lt. James Sweatt, head of detectives for the Portland police.

Vandegraaf did not have a weapon when arrested.

He is being held on $10,000 bail at Cumberland County Jail.

Now in rehab, man admits robbing pharmacy in Bath

A Dresden man who held up a pharmacy in Bath in June pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to a charge of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.

Nicholas Alexander, 23, robbed the Walgreens pharmacy on State Road in Bath on June 14 by passing the pharmacist a note that said, “You have 20 seconds to give me all your Oxycodone 15mg tablets and 30s or I will blow your (expletive) brains out,” according to court records.

Alexander was given a bag containing 11 bottles of Oxycodone tablets and was later found at a motel in Wiscasset with 600 Oxycodone tablets. In an interview, Alexander admitted robbing the store, using some of the stolen tablets, and selling others, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Alexander, who is now free on bail in a rehabilitation treatment program, faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge George Singal on Jan. 10.

WINDHAM

Two-vehicle crash sends three people to hospital

Three people were taken to Mercy Hospital on Wednesday morning after a school van and a sports car collided, according to Windham police.

A Nissan 350Z was headed east on Windham Center Road at 9:30 a.m. when it crossed the centerline and collided with the left side of the RSU 14 Dodge Caravan transporting a primary school child, police said.

The car was driven by Stephen Vasapolli, 53 and the van was driven by Amanda Brokos, 32. Aidan Deprey, 8, was the lone passenger in the van.

All three people, Windham residents, were taken by ambulance to the hospital in Portland with non-life-threatening injuries, said Police Chief Richard Lewson.

The collision occurred in front of 257 Windham Center Road, closing the road for part of the morning though it later reopened.

A witness told police the Nissan drifted across the centerline, causing the left front of the car to hit the left front of the van. Lewson said the sun was low in the sky and may have been a factor in the crash, but the investigation is still under way.

There was no indication the driver of the Nissan was using a phone at the time of the crash or that alcohol was involved, he said.

The vehicles appeared to have been destroyed in the crash, Lewson said.

AUBURN

After jury deadlocks, man reaches deal in stabbing

A Lewiston man charged with stabbing another man during a drunken fight at a party has reached a deal with prosecutors a day after the jury at his trial deadlocked.

Raikuez Melchoirre was sentenced to time served and was freed from jail Tuesday after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated assault in connection with the June 2011 stabbing that left Richard “Buddy” Edwards Jr. with wounds to his face, shoulders, knee, chest and abdomen.

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