Police follow bike tracks, arrest man in store break-in

A South Portland man was arrested on a burglary charge Saturday after police officers followed bike tracks away from a crime scene on Cottage Road.

A store employee discovered the break-in at the Cumberland Farms store at 427 Cottage Road around 4:45 a.m., according to South Portland police. The front door was shattered and a small amount of cash and cigarettes were discovered missing, police said.

Officers followed bicycle tracks from the store to the intersection of Broadway and Harriet streets, where they arrested 31-year-old Paul Hooper. Hooper was charged with a Class C burglary and a probation violation.

He previously served 2 1/2 years for assaulting a Portland police officer.

Hooper is being held on $10,000 cash bail at Cumberland County Jail. Police said most of the stolen merchandise was recovered.


Many state parks offer special programs today

Maine state parks officials are encouraging the public to participate in Great Maine Outdoor Weekend activities.

Events at state parks yesterday and today include snowshoe hikes, cross-country skiing and interpretive programs.

Officials say the weekend fits into the state’s Take It Outside program. Even if no organized program is available in the closest park, people are encouraged to visit their local state park and create their own special day.

Androscoggin Riverlands State Park is known for its trails and will offer a snowshoe hike and interpretive talk on winter wildlife. The coastal Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport will take advantage of its clam flats to offer a steamer dig.

The new Maine State Parks Ski and Snowshoe Trailer will provide cross-country skis and snowshoes to Mount Blue State Park visitors.


Owner, man, charged with trying to burn down store

Police say the owner of the JP Corner Store on Pleasant Street paid a man to burn down her business.

Ericka Poland-Rolfe, 29, of Livermore Falls, was charged with hiring 21-year-old Miguel Cedeno to set fire to the convenience store last summer.

Cedeno is also a Livermore Falls resident.

Police have charged both with arson and criminal conspiracy. The store was heavily damaged in a July 26 fire that was started with a flammable liquid.

Almost immediately after the fire, an investigator from the state Fire Marshal’s Office announced that the fire had been intentionally set and it was deemed arson, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Poland-Rolfe, who bought the store in October 2009, had closed it twice since the fire. It has since reopened under new management.

Cedeno is already in jail in connection with a Farmington break-in last month, according to the Sun Journal.

As of Friday, Poland-Rolfe was being held at Androscoggin County Jail on $30,000 bail.

– From staff and news services