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6/13/2014 4:30:00 PM
Four Men Charged With Stealing Signs in Four Counties
By Dominik Lobkowicz

Three young men are headed to trial and another pleaded guilty to charges of theft and criminal mischief related to the alleged theft of road and business signs in Lincoln, Kennebec, Knox, and Waldo counties.

Alexander Cromwell, 19, of Westport Island; Nickolas Guptill, 19, of Jefferson; Benjamin Sutter, 20, of Phippsburg; and Thomas True, 20, of Wiscasset; were each charged with theft by unauthorized taking, class E, and criminal mischief, class D.

Sutter pleaded guilty to his charges May 28 and was ordered to pay $1,652.84 in restitution to the town of Jefferson, and $1,240 in fines and other fees to the court, according to court documents.

Cromwell, Guptill, and True are scheduled for a bench trial in Wiscasset District Court on Thursday, July 10 at 10:30 a.m.

"A vehicle was stopped on the Wiscasset Road in Alna at 2:40 in the morning [April 8] because it had no rear license plate," said Lt. Rand Maker of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. "As a result of that, we recovered over 40 stolen street signs and other personally owned signs as well as alcohol."

The stop was made on True's 20th birthday, according to court documents.

The signs appeared to be stolen from Edgecomb, Nobleboro, Waldoboro, Jefferson, Somerville, Whitefield, Washington, China, and Palermo, Maker said.

The majority of the signs were street signs, but business signs were recovered as well, he said.

Most of the signs were valued at $50, though some were valued at as much as $75 to $100, Maker said.

"The value of the street signs alone was $2,000, and looks like one of the commercial signs may have been valued at $300," Maker said. "You're talking $2,500 or more in signs."

The four men were summoned by Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Hatch. No jail time was requested on any of the official complaints against the men.

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