Police arrest robbery suspects, recognize citizens who aided investigation
BREWER – Through an extensive cooperative effort that spanned several police agencies and involved the expert cooperation of civilians, Brewer Police located and arrested the person suspected in an armed robbery at Dunkin Donuts.
On Sept. 23, at approximately 5:41 p.m., Sgt. David Lord and Officer Rodney Gerald responded to a hold up alarm at Dunkin Donuts on outer Wilson Street. The officers learned that an armed robbery had occurred at this location and the suspect fled the store on foot.
Detective Nelson Feero, Officer Amy Nickerson, Lieutenant Chris Martin and Chief Perry Antone responded and began canvassing the area and interviewing witnesses.
While Brewer officers were tied up investigating this call, deputies from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office assisted by answering some of the pending calls for service in Brewer.
Bangor Police Officer Rob Angelo and his K-9 Karan conducted a “track” from Dunkin Donuts which ended in the parking lot of a Wilson Street restaurant adjacent to Downeast Toyota.
Brewer Police Detective Sergeant Jay Munson worked with staff at Downeast Toyota and reviewed video surveillance of their parking lot.
It was determined that the suspect had driven through the lot of Downeast Toyota. With the assistance of Downeast Toyota, a vehicle description (make, model and approximate year) was provided to officers on the street.
Old Town Police Detective Tom Adams responded to Brewer to assist Munson, as the Brewer robbery had many similarities to the one that occurred in Old Town one day earlier.
Within two hours of the initial call, Officer Rodney Gerald (no relation to suspect), located the suspect vehicle at the drive-through of a fast food restaurant. Gerald stopped the vehicle and detained the driver, who was identified as Alex Gerald, 21, of Fairfield. Evidence was recovered in the vehicle linking Alex Gerald to the Brewer robbery, according to police, and witnesses to the Brewer robbery identified him as the suspect.
Detectives Munson, Feero and Adams interviewed Alex Gerald, who allegedly admitted to committing both the robberies in Brewer and Old Town.
Alex Gerald was arrested and charged with two counts of class A robbery and taken to the Penobscot County Jail.
The next day, Julie Jones and her K-9 Quincy (VK9 – Volunteer K9 Scent Specific Search and Recovery team) conducted an article search in the area that Alex Gerald had fled and recovered the weapon he had brandished during the Brewer robbery. This was an air soft pistol that had been spray painted to look like a semi-automatic handgun.
Police said that Alex Gerald committed these crimes as a means to facilitate his drug use, and told investigators that he used the money he obtained to acquire diverted pharmaceutical opiates.
The success of this investigation is a result of a collaborative effort between multiple police agencies and businesses, particularly Downeast Toyota.
“It was a collaborative effort, that’s what made it successful,” said Lt. Christopher Martin of the Brewer Police Department. “You have a bunch of people pulling together for a common cause. It’s really fantastic.”
On Friday, Sept. 25, Chief Perry Antone presented Jeffrey Tourtillotte (IT Manager at Downeast Toyota) and Tom Placella (member of management at Downeast Toyota) with “Citizen Recognition” coins. Tourillotte and Placella were recognized for their outstanding contributions and support that assisted with the successful investigation of this case. Tourtillotte, who had been at home during the investigation, responded to Downeast Toyota during the evening hours to operate and allow access to the Downeast Toyota surveillance system.
Placella assisted Tourtillotte with the viewing of the footage and was able to provide officers with an approximate make, model and year of the suspect vehicle. Police said that both men unselfishly worked beyond their normal day to support the Brewer Police Department’s efforts to identify and catch Alex Gerald. Their assistance enabled street officers to know what to look for, which in turn allowed for officers to locate Alex Gerald.
Don’t drink in public, especially with bail conditions
ORONO – Carrying around a cup of beer when you have bail conditions not to be carrying around beer can be problematic, as a Saco man learned over the weekend.
Officer Chris Watson was patrolling though Washburn Apartments when he saw two men walking, one of them carrying a large cup. Watson stopped the pair, and determined that the cup contained beer. The man holding the cup was identified as Matthew Berube, 20, of Saco, who was out on bail with conditions not to possess or consume alcohol. Watson recognized Berube from the previous incident. He placed him under arrest and transferred him to Penobscot County Jail.
ORRINGTON – On Sept. 27, around 5:40 p.m., Chief Deputy Troy Morton was on patrol when he saw a vehicle parked on Hobbs Avenue in Orrington; the woman inside was yelling to someone in the woods.
Morton stopped and saw a man coming out of the woods. The man explained to Morton that he was relieving himself and was all set. Morton could smell alcohol on him and asked for his name.
He told the officer that he was Bandon Ashe, and had to give his birthday a couple of times. Morton was familiar was Brandon Ashe, and looked up the name on his mobile date terminal in the cruiser to find that the picture didn’t match the subject. He searched the name Ashe, and found Jason Ashe, 23, of Bangor, whose picture did match, with an active warrant for failure to appear in Bangor District Court for criminal mischief, refusing to submit to arrest and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs. Morton advised Ashe that he didn’t look like Brandon, but more like Jason.
Morton placed Ashe under arrest and transported him to Penobscot County Jail.
Caller tips off cops
BREWER – After an anonymous tip, police were able to locate an alleged drunk driver.
On Sept. 22, around 6:46 a.m., police received a report of a drunk driver leaving a bar.
Cpl. Paul Gauvin was able to locate the vehicle and stopped it when he saw the driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The man driving was identified as Ricky MacDonald, 50, of Brewer, and he smelled of alcohol and admitted to drinking, according to police.
MacDonald had a conditional license not to drive with any alcohol in his system.
He did not pass the field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction and was placed under arrest. He refused an Intoxilyzer and was taken to Penobscot County Jail, where he was charged with operating under the influence and operating without a license.