Police arrest transient, 33, in Walmart lot abduction

A transient who had been living in the basement of a Northern Avenue home has been arrested in last month’s abduction from the Walmart parking lot.

Shawn A. Doray, 33, was being interviewed by Augusta police Wednesday night, said detective Lt. Keith Brann. The pending charges include armed robbery and criminal restraint or kidnapping, police said.

Brann said Doray was expected to be taken to the Kennebec County jail after the interview.

Police allege that Doray confronted a woman outside Walmart on Dec. 20, forced her into her own car and drove her around town for several minutes before taking her money and running away.

“The investigation revealed that this was a totally random act,” Brann said. “The victim and suspect were not previously known to one another.”


New restaurant to specialize in certified organic burgers

Elevation Burger, an organic-hamburger chain, will open a restaurant at 85 Western Ave. on Jan. 16.

Elevation Burger serves grass-fed, free-range, 100 percent-certified organic burgers made from meat ground fresh in the restaurant. Its menu also includes two kinds of veggie burgers, fries cooked in olive oil, and shakes made with hand-scooped ice cream. The chain’s slogan is “Ingredients Matter.”

Elevation Burger was founded by Hans Hess, a California native who opened his first restaurant in Falls Church, Va., in 2005. There are now 19 Elevation Burgers in eight states and one in Kuwait.

In addition to the regular burgers on its menu, customers can order a “Vertigo Burger” with three to 11 patties, or a “Half the Guilt Burger” made with one beef and one veggie burger. Don’t want a bun? They’ll wrap the burger in lettuce.


Man faces robbery charges, is a suspect in other thefts

A Gorham man is facing charges that he robbed more than $1,100 from a Hannaford supermarket in Waterboro.

Christopher Dimastrantonio, 23, also is a suspect in similar robberies from businesses in Portland, Scarborough and Gorham over the past two months, as well as a string of daytime burglaries, police said.

Police were called to the Hannaford store at 20 Sokokis Trail around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday after a masked man entered the store, claimed he had a gun and threatened to shoot the clerk if he wasn’t given money.

Witnesses provided a description of the car the man got into, and sheriff’s deputies stopped the vehicle on Route 202 in Hollis five minutes later, according to a news release from the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said they recovered evidence in the vehicle linking Dimastrantonio to the robbery.

He is being held at York County Jail on $250,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in York District Court today on charges of robbery and violating bail conditions from a previous arrest.


Inmates sent to different jails after escape plot is detected

The Androscoggin County sheriff says he has sent two inmates to jails elsewhere in the state after uncovering an escape plot.

Sheriff Guy Desjardins said Tuesday that officials received a tip just before Christmas that two inmates intended to escape through a broken window. The alleged plot remains under investigation, he said.

The suspects are a Lewiston man charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of his girlfriend, and a Portland man accused of aggravated assault for allegedly knocking down a police officer with a car.

Desjardins doubts the escape plan would have worked. He said glass in a window facing the adjacent YMCA had been smashed, but a steel bar likely would have prevented access to the outside.


Police investigate local official in emailed impersonations

Camden’s economic development director is being investigated for allegedly impersonating a state official whose job he once held.

According to court documents, Maine State Police found emails to state officials that purported to be from Deb Neuman, the state’s deputy commissioner of economic development, but actually came from computer IP addresses linked to Camden official Brian Hodges.

Among the emails being investigated, according to the search warrant application, were: “Advise to you, stop pushing the envelope. Governor will get you something. If the IT thing gets any more rumblings, the other state employees will start asking questions. We’re already on thin ice. You’re making it worse,” and “FYI, spoke with Brian. He’s a go but has concerns about Governor’s reputation. I can’t say I blame him!”

The emails were sent in September and October.

State police Detective David Armstrong wrote in an affidavit filed in Rockland District Court that Neuman said the emails “caused some problems that had to be explained to Governor Paul LePage.”.

Hodges declined to comment to the Bangor Daily News.

Impersonating a public servant carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.


Bridge linking states to close Monday for walkers, bikers

The Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine will close to pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Monday as contractors get ready to demolish it for a replacement.

Electronic message boards are in place at the 90-year-old bridge to advertise the pending closure. The bridge was closed to motor vehicle traffic in July.

The project will replace the bridge that carries U.S. Route 1 over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery. Archer Western Contractors of Canton, Mass., will be the general contractor on the $81.4 million project.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that a daily shuttle bus service between Portsmouth and Kittery will begin Monday. A website will be available later this week with a shuttle route map and full schedule.


DNA tests planned after tip comes in on identity of body

The state Medical Examiner’s Office will try using DNA to identify the body of a man found Dec. 22 near railroad tracks in Brunswick.

The testing is the result of a tip that came in after investigators appealed for the public’s help in identifying the body last week.

The man had salt-and-pepper hair and is believed to have been 50 to 65 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 160 pounds. He was wearing tan pants, a brown knit hat, black boots and two orange sweat shirts under a coat. Officials said the man had a catheter, so it’s likely he was under a doctor’s care.


Two men arrested, another on the run in meth lab case

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said its investigation into a meth lab in Presque Isle has led to two arrests and a warrant for a third suspect.

On Wednesday, police arrested Leland Alger, 28, of Presque Isle, and issued an arrest warrant for Ronald Lewis, 21, of Littleton, on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine. A third man, Ray Varney, 23, of Houlton was arrested Friday, a day after the meth lab was discovered.

Authorities found the meth lab in a Maine Street apartment, and a team seized chemicals and equipment that had been used to make the drug.

State wins grant to protect coastal wetland properties

Maine is one of 13 states receiving grant money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect coastal wetland properties.

The agency’s 2012 National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program is giving out a total of $20.5 million for 24 projects.

In Maine, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is getting $980,000 to purchase wetlands in the eastern Maine town of Addison to establish the Pleasant Bay Wildlife Management Area, which will have a total area of about 2,000 acres.

The department has been working with the Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation for about two years to establish the new wildlife management area.

The goal is to protect coastal wetland systems that support shore birds, migratory wintering water fowl and fishery resources, while also providing public access.

— From staff and news services