NEW GLOUCESTER — A local woman and several juveniles were arrested in connection with a string of area burglaries, police said.
Juanita Small, 40, of 174 Sabbathday Road and three juveniles were charged with violating condition of probation, burglary, attempted burglary, theft, criminal mischief and receiving stolen property, according to a Wednesday news statement from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
The crimes involved the theft of jewelry, "precious" personal items, electronics, sporting equipment and alcohol, the statement said.
Authorities investigated several residential daytime burglary complaints over the past couple of months. Law enforcement departments from several municipal, county and state jurisdictions compared notes and found similarities among several burglaries in Gray, New Gloucester and Pownal. That triggered detectives from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office to conduct surveillance in residential areas of those towns.
On June 28, detectives identified four suspects and followed them to an occupied single-family home in New Gloucester. Police say the suspects were taken into custody when a residential burglary was in progress at that address.
A follow-up investigation, seven other residential burglaries were cleared in Cumberland County and several more remain under investigation in Cumberland, Androscoggin and Oxford counties, authorities said.
The three males range in age from 15 to 17, authorities said.
Small remained in custody Wednesday.
Police familiar with the cases said the juveniles were involved to help feed drug habits. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services was advised and was expected to investigate.