LEWISTON – Gerry Legare wants his trains back.
The collection that took him 25 years to build was swiped from his lawn at 391 Webster St. on Sunday, after his ex-wife dropped it off unexpectedly and looters staged a quick, pre-dawn raid.
Legare said he’d asked her last week to drop off a list of things from their old house that included 100 bottles of wine – he homebrews – and eight or nine sets of Lionel, Marx and K-Line trains.
He lives with his stepfather at the Webster Street address, but spent the weekend in Auburn, taking care of his brother’s chickens.
His ex made the first delivery at 5:15 a.m., setting bags on the lawn but near the curb. When she called just after 6 to say she’d be coming by with a second load, Legare’s stepfather looked outside to find strangers going through Legare’s things.
Legare left chicken-sitting chores, came home and found nearly all the valuables gone.
“I don’t think she knew it would happen,” he said. “There was one bag they apparently didn’t see; it had a caboose and a water tower.”
He estimated the value of the 40 engines and cars at about $1,000. Each piece was sizable, 0:27 scale, or about the size of half a loaf of bread. In his old home, he had the collection set up on 100 feet of train tracks.
He hasn’t counted how many bottles of wine are missing. He called police to report the vandalism and made a report Sunday morning.
Just maybe people assumed the bags were lawn-sale leftovers, Legare said, but there wasn’t the usual sign saying “Free.” He’s hoping someone brags to someone else, “Look what I found,” and the trains turn up.
He’s put signs out on his lawn asking for their speedy return.
“If I get it back, I don’t care to press charges. If I find it on eBay, I’ll press charges because they knew it was stolen,” he said.