FARMINGTON – Two men suspected of committing upward of 80 burglaries in seven counties are being held at the Kennebec County jail. Police believe the non-residential burglaries that netted thousands of dollars in cash and items are drug motivated and the work of professional thieves.

After months of investigation into a burglary spree from Penobscot to Franklin counties that started last fall, police from several law enforcement agencies executed three search warrants Wednesday in Waterville and Mount Vernon, Franklin County Sheriff’s Lt. Niles Yeaton said.

Police arrested Glen Michaud, 40, of Waterville, and Christopher Powell, 31, of Mount Vernon. The two face numerous charges of burglary and theft, Kennebec and Somerset County District Attorney Evert Fowle said. Powell also faces possession of scheduled drug charges and a possession of a firearm by a felon charge, he said. Both men have lengthy criminal histories, Fowle said, and referred to the men as “professional burglars, professional thieves.” He said their enterprises were systematic and well-planned, and he believed the proceeds were used to buy drugs.

“We found at both their residences heroin and cocaine,” Fowle said.

Michaud was arrested at his residence at Econo Lodge in Waterville and Powell at his home in Mount Vernon. Fowle said police searched six vehicles, Michaud’s room at the lodge and another Waterville address the men had frequented along with Powell’s residence.

Both men are being held on high bail at the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta. Powell’s bail was set at $75,000 cash or $300,000 surety and Michaud’s bail at $25,000 cash or $15,000 cash and $100,000 surety.

The crime spree started in October and the last burglary was committed April 14, Fowle said. Police had the men under surveillance for some time.

“They operated out of a lot of locations,” Fowle said.

Police have evidence, he said, that connects the two men to burglaries at Bear Hill Variety and USA Concrete in Phillips, Carthage Town Office, and numerous other places. Besides Franklin, Somerset and Kennebec counties the men are linked to burglaries in the counties of Lincoln, Knox, Waldo and Penobscot.

Waterville Police Chief John Morris said that among the burglaries the suspects are linked to in his town are two medical centers and Prompto Oil on Kennedy Memorial Drive.

Yeaton said besides burglaries in Carthage, Phillips and Strong, the two men are suspected of “doing several in Farmington.”

“They’ve been all over,” Yeaton said.

Police are sifting through evidence in an investigation Fowle said is “really just starting.” Investigators are searching the suspects’ trash and other belongings looking for items such as receipts to connect them to the burglaries. Police also confiscated maps, Fowle said.

Fowle credited Franklin County Detective Tom White, Maine State Police Trooper Bryant Jacques and Waterville police officer Alan Perkins for being “very persistent and diligent” in keeping track of everything. Besides the lead agencies, Fowle said a number of other law enforcement agencies worked together on the arrests.

“This is how it’s supposed to work,” Fowle said, “they were hitting on all cylinders.”

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