GREENE – A break-in at a convenience store was the latest in a rash of similar burglaries throughout the state, police say.

Landry’s Quick Stop on Route 202 was broken into between 9:15 p.m. Monday and 4 a.m. Tuesday. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from a safe in the office of the store, Androscoggin County Detective Sgt. Bill Gagne said.

Roughly a dozen similar break-ins have occurred in recent months as far north as Orono and as far south as Biddeford, police said.

One of the common aspects of the crimes is that the burglars target automatic teller machines inside the stores, said Maine State Police Lt. Walter Grzyb.

The most recent burglaries with similar traits in Androscoggin County were at Shrep’s Corner Store in Turner late last week and at the IGA on Route 202 in Greene last month.

In both cases, burglars forced their way into the stores and stole cash from an ATM machine, along with beer and cigarettes.

Authorities have made no arrest to date, but there have been developments in the ongoing investigations among the various law enforcement agencies who banded together in a collaborative effort to share information and strategies, Grzyb said.

State Police Trooper Michael Chavez, who investigated the Shrepp’s break-in, suspects more than one burglar. They made off with roughly $3,000 in cash from the ATM and a store safe overnight, he said.

They entered through a forced side window, he said. Another similarity among the burglaries is that the burglars cut phone lines to the store and wait for police response before entering, Chavez said. He advises store owners to install backup alarm systems.

In Lewiston, thieves disabled an alarm while breaking into Marden’s on Main Street. In Waterville, Flagship Cinema was broken into in early January.

Chavez said he was confident of an arrest.

“We’ll get ’em,” he said. “It’ll just be a matter of time.”

Anyone who was in the area of Landry’s Quick Stop in Greene between Monday night and Tuesday morning and saw suspicious activity or has information about the burglary can contact Detective Nelson Peters at 784-7361, ext. 236.


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