3 teens charged in library trashing

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MECHANIC FALLS – Three teens, a girl and two boys, have been charged in connection with a break-in and vandalism spree at the Mechanic Falls Public Library on Tuesday.

The teens, 14, 15 and 17, all from Mechanic Falls, face charges of burglary, theft and aggravated criminal mischief, according to Mechanic Falls Police Chief Jeff Goss. The three, he said, are currently in custody at the Longcreek Youth Development Center in South Portland, and are scheduled to appear before a judge in the 8th District Court in Lewiston on Monday.

The arrests will make it easier for the library’s supporters to move forward with fundraising for repairs and the cleanup.

“It makes me feel better,” said Nancy Petersons, chairperson of the library’s Board of Trustees “It makes it easier to move on.”

Meanwhile, she has been heartened by continued offers of help.

On Friday, she was contacted by libraries in Poland and Gray, which both volunteered staff to aid in the cleanup. Town Manager John Hawley has set up a fund at the town office for people to aid in the fix-up, suggested to cost several thousand dollars.

Goss said he expected to receive a list of the stolen items and a damage estimate from the library board on Monday. Initial reports on the incident listed among items stolen a computer and about 100 DVDs. Books, papers and dog biscuits were thrown all over the inside of the library, while the librarian’s chair and a nutcracker statue were thrown down a steep embankment onto the ice of the Little Androscoggin that runs behind the facility.

The American Legion Post 150, located just a few doors down from the library, plans to hold a spaghetti supper fundraiser to aid the effort. It is planned for 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 10 and under.

Already, the Lewiston and Auburn libraries have opened their doors for Mechanic Falls residents.

“I wish this never happened,” Petersons said. Yet, people have surprised her with their caring. “They realize the importance of the library to the community.”

– Dan Hartill and Heather McCarthy, Sun Journal Staff

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