Police recovered $98,000 of the $150,000 taken from a home safe.

BANGOR (AP) – Four Maine men accused of stealing a man’s life savings from a safe and then going on a spending spree were arrested at a hotel in Virginia, police said.

The men from northern Penobscot County were held Tuesday on fugitive from justice charges and were awaiting extradition to Maine, where they’ll face charges including theft and burglary.

The four were arrested Sept. 11 at a Marriott hotel in Richmond, Va., because they fit a description forwarded from Maine.

Police recovered about $98,000 of the $150,000 that they allegedly stole from an iron safe in a Mattawamkeag garage. The rest was spent on friends, clothing or other items, investigators said.

Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross said he was happy that any money was left after the foursome’s “binge spending.”

“This is one of those cases that you hope you’ll solve, but you don’t expect to get any money back,” Ross said.

The money was stolen from a safe on Sept. 7 at the Markie Garage in Mattawamkeag. The burglars broke in through a door, then used acetylene torches to get into the safe where Leon Markie kept his savings.

Steven Wade Springer, 18, and Joshua Solomon, 20, both of Lincoln, face theft and burglary charges, while Ernest Hugh Norwood, 22, and Joshua Thompson, 19, of Prentiss Plantation, are charged with receiving stolen property, police said.

Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department Detective John Trask said the four men and others may have been involved in other burglaries in the region, some involving motor vehicles.

In Virginia, investigators were speaking to the desk clerk at the Marriott when the four suspects walked in on the morning of Sept. 11.

Confronted by police, they agreed to let authorities search backpacks in their possession. Money was found inside, police said.

All four men remain at Richmond City Jail on fugitive from justice charges.

Last Friday, they waived extradition, speeding up their return to Maine, according to authorities.

AP-ES-09-16-03 1148EDT



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