ROCKLAND — A 39-year-old Thomaston man was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for burglaries at more than 200 storage units, homes and businesses.

Justice Bruce Mallonee sentenced Joshua L. Vandine to 28 years in prison with all but eight years suspended. Once he is released, Vandine will be on probation for six years, during which time the additional 20 years could be imposed for any additional crimes.

And the state can seek up to $147,000 from Vandine at a restitution hearing yet to be held. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said, however, that it would be unlikely that Vandine would be able to repay more than $30,000 or $40,000 throughout his life.

The burglaries and thefts occurred in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, Sagadahoc, Hancock, and Penobscot counties over several years.

Vandine was arrested in March 2018 and initially charged with 125 counts of  burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of a firearm by a felon. Additional charges were later added but some were dismissed before Friday’s hearing in the Knox County Court.

Two of the victims spoke during Friday’s hearing.

A woman from Sagadahoc County showed the judge photographs of her late husband, who was a veteran. She said that Vandine stole items that had sentimental value and were priceless to her shortly after her husband died.

She talked about how she has felt victimized, angry and anxious. She said the break-in cost her countless nights of sleep as she worried whether someone would break into her home.

“You turned my dreams into nightmares,” she told Vandine.

A Damariscotta man said he had 100 percent of his belongings in a storage unit that was broken into by Vandine. The man, a disabled Vietnam-era veteran, said this type of behavior should not be part of the country he fought for in the military.

Stolen from his storage unit included two fishing rods – one that his father gave to him as a child and one that his grandfather had passed on to this father which was to be handed down to his children. Two firearms were also stolen from him including the first shotgun he was ever given.

Lt. Patrick Hood of the Maine State Police said this was absolutely the largest burglary and theft spree he has seen in the state.

Troopers seized enough items from Vandine’s home on Main Street in Thomaston, his vehicle and his own storage locker to load up two U-Haul trucks. The items included paintings, chainsaws, tools, hunting and fishing equipment, coins, antiques, toys and clothing.

Many items recovered have been returned to their owners. But Hood said the public safety department still has a 6-foot-by-10-foot storage unit half full of items that no one has claimed. He said items include everything from paintings to scuba gear

The state police lieutenant urged anyone who believes they were victims of the crime spree to contact him at 207-624-7076 or 800-452-4664.

Fernald, the assistant district attorney, said the eight years to be served in prison followed by the probation and the threat of 20 additional years if he violated probation was warranted in this case. He cited Vandine’s lengthy criminal record dating to 1997, which includes numerous burglaries, thefts and possession of firearms by a felon, as well as an assault on an officer.

The prosecutor said, however, that the state was also taken into consideration the extensive cooperation that Vandine provided since he was apprehended, as well as pleading guilty rather than going to trial which would have required the victims to testify as well as consume the resources of law enforcement and the district attorneys offices in the six counties.

Vandine told Justice Mallonee on Friday that if he could undo his crimes he would. He said hearing about the effect of his crimes on the victims will have more of an impact on him than the prison sentence.

Vandine was represented by attorney David Sinclair of Bath.

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