March 29, 2013

Skowhegan market burglarized yet again

'It's not fair. I work hard for my money and wish I would have been there to kick his butt,' says owner Louann Barnes.

By Rachel Ohm
Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN — A market on West Front Street was burglarized and robbed late Wednesday night, resulting in about $2,000 worth of damage and stolen goods.

It was at least the fourth break-in there in the last five years, owner Louann Barnes said.

"It's not fair. I work hard for my money and wish I would have been there to kick his butt," she said Thursday.

Barnes, who lives across the street from the store, said her husband, Mark, heard the store's alarm system going off from their home about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. The store normally closes at 9 p.m., and she had just arrived at home.

She said she rushed to the store and got there before the police. A review of the security tapes showed a man hanging around the outside of the store and looking in the windows, then throwing a large piece of pavement through the store's glass front door, she said.

The man in the security videotape took two packs of cigarettes and a bottle of Captain Morgan rum and fled, she said.

She also got a call from a customer who said he saw the man run away between two houses, she said.

Deputy Chief Dan Summers of the Skowhegan Police Department said police are investigating the break-in and have suspects. He said two people appear to have been involved.

According to Summers, the stolen goods were worth about $64 and the damage to the door was about $800. However, he said employees at the store were taking inventory Thursday afternoon, and more items might be missing.

Barnes said she had to throw away all the food in the front of the store because the door's shattered glass might have contaminated it. She also anticipates extra costs for replacing the door.

A February 2012 burglary cost the Barnes about $2,500 in stolen and damaged property, she said. Thefts also were reported there in March 2010 and February 2007.

"I don't think we can get a better security system unless we put bars on the windows and doors. It's crazy to think about it, but right now I am," Barnes said.

Rachel Ohm -- 612-2368

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