BAR HARBOR — An Ellsworth man and a woman from Surry have been charged in the string of thefts from roadside firewood stands from all Mount Desert Island towns the weekend of June 20.
Mark Sincyr Sr., 41, of Ellsworth was charged with two counts of Class C theft and two counts of Class D criminal mischief for his alleged participation in the spree, according to Lieutenant David Kerns of the Bar Harbor Police Department. Sincyr was issued the summons at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth, where he is being held on other charges.
The theft charges against Sincyr were elevated to the felony level because of prior criminal convictions, Kerns said. The criminal mischief charges stem from damage done in forcing open locked containers for the money.
Also charged is Rebecca Levesque, 32, of Surry. Levesque was summonsed on a Class E theft charge. According to Officer Soren Sundberg, who investigated the case, Levesque was with Sincyr, and her vehicle was used in the thefts.
At this point, the pair has been charged only in connection with the thefts of cash from stands in Bar Harbor and Mount Desert, Kerns said. More charges are expected.
The roadside stands operate on the honor system. The wood is packaged in bundles, which typically sell for $3 each. Customers pay for the bundles they take by putting money in a container. Containers range from empty coffee cans to locked boxes.
Sincyr and Levesque are accused of taking cash from stands on the night of June 20 and on the morning of June 21. Money also was taken from stands in Southwest Harbor and Tremont. The owners of eight stands initially reported the thefts. That number since has grown to 13 as additional reports have been made following publication of news accounts about the thefts.
In Bar Harbor, the total amount taken is estimated at more than $300, Kerns said. In other towns, owners have reported losses ranging from a few dollars to $75.
The owners of the firewood stands are taking a stand of their own, vowing to be more vigilant and going as far as installing cameras traditionally used by hunters to watch for game to monitor their roadside business. Photos would be valuable evidence in prosecuting any thieves, Sundberg said.
Bar Harbor is able to charge someone with a crime in neighboring Mount Desert under a mutual aid agreement between the police departments in those towns. The Southwest Harbor Police Department would be responsible for charges in that town, and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department would file charges for the criminal activity there.