Vandals strike downtown Farmington, UMF campus

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FARMINGTON — Police are investigating vandalism that left flower pots, planters and trash cans tipped over on Main Street and Broadway, along with damage at the nearby campus of University of Maine at Farmington.

Owner Susun Terese crouched beside one of her planters outside her business Minikins on Broadway on Friday morning. It was obvious petunias had been taken out of the planter, she said, and some that were put back in the flower pot were drooping. 

“These were beautiful,” she said. “They were gorgeous and in full bloom. I am very disappointed.”

Franklin County Deputy Brian McCormick discovered the vandalism while driving by and reported it at 12:51 a.m., Bonnie Pomeroy, secretary for the Farmington Police Department, said as she read from a partial police report. There were multiple trash cans, a bench and flower planters tipped over, she said.

Farmington police Sgt. Michael Adcock, Officer Brandan Sholan, county Sgt. Matthew Brann, McCormick and University of Maine at Farmington campus police officer Sandy Burke responded.

Pomeroy said there was also vandalism at the campus.

Campus Police Chief Brock Caton wrote in an email Friday that materials and dirt at a construction project on South Street were disturbed, the door trim to the Mantor Library entrance was damaged, a tree next to Ricker Hall was damaged, a metal rainwater drainage pipe attached to a building was bent in half and flower pots and a picnic table near Merrill Hall on Academy Street were flipped over.  

There were several people seen in the downtown area, Pomeroy said, but officers had only caught up to one early Friday and that person was made to pick up some of the debris. The person was charged but Pomeroy didn’t have all of the information because the report was not finished. 

Police have identified others involved but are continuing to investigate.

Paul Mills, vice president of the Farmington Downtown Association, who has a law firm on Main Street, said Friday morning that he had not heard about the vandalism. 

The downtown area has been vandalized in the past, he said, so it is not unprecedented.

Farmington Deputy Police Chief Shane Cote is pursuing a proposal to buy and install security cameras downtown, Mills said, adding that he was not speaking in favor or against the idea. But if the cameras were in place, there is a possibility that the risk of any future vandalism would be reduced and they may be a deterrent if people know they are being watched, he said.

“Hopefully it won’t happen again,” he said.

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Susun Terese, owner of Minikins on Broadway in Farmington, crouches next to one of her planters that was tipped over during a vandalism spree Friday downtown and at the University of Maine at Farmington campus. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Vandals struck the Farmington downtown early Friday, tipping over trash cans and flower pots around Main Street and Broadway. Damage was also done at the nearby University of Maine at Farmington campus. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Susun Terese, owner of Minikins on Broadway in Farmington, was surprised Friday morning when she saw dirt and remnants of some of her petunias in the street. Vandals turned over trash cans and flower pots in front of downtown businesses, and did damage early Friday at the University of Maine at Farmington. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

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