January 16, 2013

DNA on sandal leads to jail sentence for Waterville burglar

Jessica J. Savage, 31, formerly of Winslow, convicted of burglarizing Dunkin' Donuts, also burglarized home of state Rep. Thomas Longstaff, D-Waterville

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A flip-flop sandal left behind by a burglar who broke into a Dunkin' Donuts shop in Waterville last April helped police identify the suspect as Jessica J. Savage.

Police say she's the same woman who eight days later burglarized a Waterville state legislator's house and was chased by the man's wife and later captured.

Assistant District Attorney Tracy DeVoll told a judge on Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court that DNA from the abandoned footwear matched that of Savage, 31, formerly of Winslow.

Savage, who is serving a sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, pleaded guilty Tuesday to burglarizing that doughnut shop and to stealing $150 in cash.

DeVoll said Savage smashed a window to enter the store, hopped over the counter and passed the cash box out through the broken window. The April 10, 2012, break-in was recorded on video.

Savage was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but nine months suspended, and two years of probation for the burglary and theft at Dunkin' Donuts on College Avenue in Waterville.

Conditions of probation ban her from being at Dunkin' Donuts, and she was ordered to pay $1,101 restitution for the cash and the cost of repairing the window.

The sentence, DeVoll told Justice Donald Martin, was to run at the same time as the one Savage is serving for burglary, illegal possession of a firearm, and two counts of theft related to the incident at the home of Rep. Thomas Longstaff, D-Waterville.

Longstaff's wife, Cynthia, had been gone from their Pleasant Street home for less than half an hour April 18 when she returned to find a cellar window pried open and an unfamiliar sweatshirt and bag on the patio.

Cynthia Longstaff realized her husband's laptop was missing from his desk, so she ran down the street looking for the burglar, calling 911 and following directions from people who had seen a woman fleeing.

Cynthia Longstaff found Savage in a trash shed on School Street, talking on a cellphone and holding the computer. After she refused to give the computer back, Longstaff grabbed it and the woman ran away.

Police captured Savage shortly afterward on Belmont Street.

Later, the Longstaffs realized an .22-caliber handgun also had been stolen. Waterville police later recovered the gun from Savage.

Savage was represented by defense attorney Charles T. Ferris. She told the judge she previously worked as a medical technician and hoped to get a job when she was released from prison, which is expected to be sometime in March.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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