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Break-ins and thefts spiking in Skowhegan

Jena Bryer says the burglars were caught on tape stealing money, pipes and pot from her medical marijuana business. (WGME)

SKOWHEGAN (WGME) -- Skowhegan police say they’ve arrested one young man and a warrant is out for another for an overnight burglary at Dreamerz – a local smoke shop.

“My cameras say it happened at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Jena Bryer, the owner of the store, said.

Bryer says the burglars were caught on tape stealing money, pipes and pot from her medical marijuana business.

Police say 18-year-old Tyler Long turned himself in for the robbery.

“I don’t know if he got a guilty conscience or realized he made a big mistake,” Skowhegan Police Chief David Bucknam said. “He went back to Dreamerz.”

Bryer says Long brought back what he had left and admitted that he spent all the cash on drugs as soon as they left.

“He just saw it as an opportunity,” Bryer said. “But he didn’t see that I’m a single mom with two kids. And this is what stops me from having nothing.”

Bucknam says there have been at least 13 reported break-ins and at least 5 thefts in the past week.

“Friday is when the burglary complaints started coming in,” Bucknam said.

The other break-ins targeted a handful of local businesses, homes, and camps.

Stanton Walker, another burglary victim, says his garage was broken into.

“They took some gas cans and stuff. I had some marijuana growing on site,” Walker said. “I have a medical marijuana license and they stole my marijuana too.”

Among the items stolen were a gun, tools, and truck tailgates from a local car dealership. Investigators believe other groups of burglars are responsible for those break-ins, which they believe are all drug-related.

Bryer’s message to the thieves is clear and firm.

“I have a one-year-old and a three-year-old and you just stole their livelihood,” Bryer said. “That’s their food and their shelter.”

Police are asking people to their part by keeping their doors and windows locked on both their cars and their homes. They’re also asking people to keep an eye on the neighborhood.

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