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State trooper tracks down burglary suspect inside Belgrade camp

State police arrested a teenager at gunpoint inside a Belgrade camp Monday. (WGME)

BELGRADE (WGME) – State police arrested a teenager at gunpoint inside a Belgrade camp Monday.

They say he'd broken in and was staying there since running away from home.

State police say the 17-year-old left his home in Vassalboro on Thanksgiving and was later reported missing. On Monday, they found him hiding in a camp on Messalonskee Lake after breaking in.

Trooper Travis Luce says it all started when an alarm was triggered at a camp on Dustin Drive.

“I found the front door to be broken, there was glass everywhere, all over the floor, with the alarm going off,” Luce said.

The camp next door was hit, too, and with no tire tracks, Luce figured the suspect must be on foot. He followed a set of railroad tracks to a nearby road where he found several other homes broken into.

“I could see there was a broken door with a bureau in front of the door,” Luce said.

Luce says when he pushed his way in, he heard someone moving and quickly identified himself as state police.

“The suspect came out into the hallway, at which point I drew my firearm, took him down at gunpoint because I didn’t know if there was anybody else at the house,” Luce said.

The teen was arrested without incident, and is charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

“He was at one point looking for firearm because he felt he needed protection, from whatever I don’t know, but primarily was looking for food,” Luce said.

Luce says the teen broke into a total of 10 camps. They're still checking with homeowners to find out what was stolen. He says it's extremely unusual to track down a suspect so quickly.

“I was very shocked to find somebody inside,” Luce said. “Usually when we get burglaries, it’s happened, it’s done and over, especially camp burglaries, usually reported in springtime when people return to camps.”

Police say the teen was released to the custody of his mom. Their investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

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