Police staking out a roadside firewood stand Saturday night in response to a string of thefts arrested a man after he allegedly stole money from the stand’s cash receptacle.

Deputies from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office were doing surveillance near Roosevelt Trail in Casco as part of their investigation into a string of thefts at roadside campfire wood stands. Bundles of firewood are typically sold at stands outside homes for around $5. The stands are usually not monitored and people use the “honor system” and leave cash in a box, sheriff’s Capt. Don Goulet said.

Andrew Connelly Photo courtesy of Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

“The stands are common in the Sebago Lake area and cater to the large volume of campgrounds and seasonal homes in the area,” Goulet said in a news release.

Since July, thefts have occurred regularly from stands in Standish, Casco and Naples. The total loss from all of the reported thefts is more than $1,000, Goulet said.

On Saturday night, deputies monitored a firewood stand that had been targeted for theft on multiple occasions. Shortly after midnight, a man approached the stand and began to fish bills out of the cash receptacle, Goulet said.

After a short foot pursuit, 33-year-old Andrew John Connelly was arrested and taken to Cumberland County Jail.

A booking photo of Connelly shows bloody bruises on his face. Goulet said that Connelly likely suffered the bruises when he tripped and fell into a gully during the foot pursuit.

“It was dark and and he was running in a slightly wooded area. He surrendered and was taken into custody without any force being taken,” Goulet said in an email Monday night. “The injuries you see are from the fall or prior events as we can’t say what he looked like before we made contact.”

Connelly, who does not have a fixed address, was charged with theft, a Class C felony, and misdemeanor violation of conditions of release.

He was arraigned Monday afternoon, but was unable to pay his $100 bail and was being held at the Cumberland County Jail Monday night.


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