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4/24/2014 3:24:00 PM
Boothbay Harbor Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Copper from Businesses
Gregory M. Middendorf
Gregory M. Middendorf
J.W. Oliver

A Boothbay Harbor man pleaded guilty April 23 to stealing metal from five Boothbay Harbor businesses about a year ago.

Gregory M. Middendorf, 36, stole copper, brass and bronze materials from Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, the Chowder House, Linekin Bay Resort, Rocktide Inn, and Romar Bowling Lanes from April 10-26, 2013, according to his indictment.

Middendorf has to pay $7,642.39 to compensate the businesses and will eventually have to serve 21 days in jail as part of a plea bargain with the state.

The Chowder House reported a theft of bronze water valves, copper wiring and gas pipe April 25, according to a statement by Boothbay Harbor Police Officer Nick Upham.

The next day, Linekin Bay Resort reported the theft of 10 feet of 1/2-inch copper water pipe. The resort manager told Boothbay Harbor Officer Richard Mirabile he had seen Middendorf arrive at the resort about a week ago.

The same day, a plumber working at Romar Bowling Lanes reported the theft of 20 feet of copper from an oil line and damage to a propane line and a refrigeration unit.

The damage to the fuel lines at the Chowder House and Romar Bowling Lanes could have caused an explosion or leak, according to Upham's statement.

Middendorf confessed to the Chowder House and Romar Bowling Lanes thefts and was arrested May 9. He told Upham he needed the money from the sale of the metal, Upham said in his statement.

A Lincoln County grand jury indicted Middendorf Sept. 9 on charges of Class C aggravated criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking, both felonies; two counts of Class D criminal mischief, and four counts of Class E theft by unauthorized taking.

Class D and E crimes are misdemeanors.

The state, in exchange for his guilty plea, changed the Class C theft charge to a Class D misdemeanor and dismissed two of the Class E theft charges.

The state will delay sentencing for two years. Middendorf has the two years to complete restitution payments. He also has to continue substance abuse treatment.

If Middendorf fulfills those terms and does not commit any new crimes, the state will allow him to withdraw his guilty plea to the single felony and will change the charge to a misdemeanor. He would then plead guilty to the misdemeanors and receive a 21-day jail sentence.

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