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Dec. 2—FARMINGTON — A Lang Township man is accused of breaking into and stealing items from the American Legion Post 78 in Strong, a camp in Dallas Plantation and a ReEnergy Holdings pump house in Wyman Township, all in Franklin County.
John L. Raymond, 34, was arrested Nov. 29 on three counts of felony burglary and violation of condition of release. After a review of the case by the District Attorney's Office, he is charged with three counts of felony burglary and three misdemeanor counts of theft by unauthorized taking.
Franklin County Sgt. Jacob Richards responded Nov. 22 to a report of burglary at the American Legion hall. He met with representatives of the post and noticed a window next to the primary door was broken and glass was on the ground and inside the building.
As they continued into the hall, it appeared someone had rummaged through the property tossing several items around. In the kitchen, three drawers had been emptied and various kitchen knives, utensils, serving trays and bowls had been removed, according to Richards' affidavit filed in a Farmington court.
A storeroom had also been broken into, where ceremonial pistols, white belts, a wooden gavel and a golden eagle flag topper were reported missing. The Knights of Pythias, which is no longer active in the area, had shared the hall and stored items there.
Deputy Andrew Morgan also responded to a report of a burglary Nov. 21 at a camp in Dallas Plantation. A neighbor reported the break-in to the owner. A lantern and a hammer found on the premises were collected, since the items did not belong to the owners. Police were provided with a written list of stolen property, Richards wrote.
Morgan also responded to a report of burglary Nov. 18, at a well pump station in Wyman Township belonging to ReEnergy Holdings. A DVR system, its backup battery and a landline phone were reported taken.
The investigation found Raymond had been living out of his car, and Nov. 24 a search warrant was granted for his car.
Two days later, Morgan and Richards conducted a detailed search and property from the American Legion Post 78/Knights of Pythias was allegedly identified. Those included three wooden gavels — one engraved with American Legion — the golden eagle flag topper and a Rockwell power tool bag full of assorted silverware, three ceremonial gun holsters, three ceremonial pistols, two ceremonial belts and assorted burglar tools.
Also located were several items not first reported as stolen by the American Legion/Knights of Pythias. Richards planned to request an additional warrant for those items, namely multiple record books, Holy Bibles, a white helmet with the Post No. 78 on it, trophies, plaques, ribbons, tackle boxes marked with "K of P," membership ledgers, "jewels" of their respective offices, magazines, scrapbooks and four swords with knights heads on the pommel in leather scabbards.
Because these items were in a storage room and a written inventory of the room was not available, the respective victims did not initially realize the items were taken until discovered in the search, Richards wrote.
The missing DVR system and backup battery, with a landline phone from the burglary in Wyman Township, were located. Also found were Dansko clogs, a Leatherman engraved with the name of the owner and a blue lockbox that were stolen from the camp in Dallas Plantation.
The items were identified by owners.
Raymond consented to a search of his car Monday, but invoked his right to an attorney when questioned about contents.
Raymond was arrested Nov. 20 by Morgan and Richards, after a can of gas was reported stolen from a Kingfield residence. He was released from jail on personal recognizance bail Nov. 22, but not before a photo of an imprint of tread on a shoe on a chair at the legion hall was compared to his sneaker with the patterns matching identically, according to Richards' affidavit.
A judge set Raymond's bail on the new charges at $400 or a supervised release agreement. He remained at the Franklin County Detention Center in Farmington on Wednesday afternoon.
Conviction on the burglary charges is punishable by up to five to 10 years in prison. Conviction for theft is punishable by up to six months in jail.