PASSADUMKEAG (AP) – A Penobscot County town of less than 450 people is on edge after a second report in less than a month of a man breaking into a home and attacking a woman.

Maine State Police are investigating whether a home invasion in Passadumkeag this week is connected to a sexual assault and beating on Oct. 29. State police spokesman Steve McCausland said there’s no apparent connection between the two incidents.

McCausland said a Goulds Ridge Road woman was injured after an unidentifed man forced his way into her home late Tuesday night.

In the earlier incident, a Pleasant Street woman was sexually assaulted and badly beaten when a man forced his way into her home.

Officials warn of identity fraud

GARDINER (AP) – With the Christmas shopping season under way, state officials are warning Mainers to take precautions to avoid identity theft scams.

The Department of Professional and Financial Regulation cautions consumers that the shopping season is a prime time for identity theft. Superintendent Lloyd LaFountain notes the economic downturn may spur a rise in financial crimes.

Officials say consumers should avoid carrying their Social Security number and should take only the credit cards they need.

People should also shred any mail that contains personal information, be suspicious of solicitors and use extra caution on the Internet.

Hunter in Vt. finds skeletal remains

CHARLESTON, Vt. (AP) – The Vermont State Police says a hunter discovered human remains in a wooded area of Charleston on Friday.

Police say the identity of the remains has not been determined. Police say the state medical examiner will analyze the remains.

Efforts will be made to determine if the remains are those of 18-year-old Nathan Currie. He was reported missing on July 26 when his car was found abandoned.

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