FRYEBURG — Two men suspected in a series of home burglaries were arrested Sunday after a police officer took some advice from “Alice’s Restaurant:” Check the trash.

Harley R. Burke, 20, and Nathan Michael Martin, 18, both of Cobb Street, were each charged with five counts of receiving stolen property. Both men had been released from the Oxford County Jail by Tuesday evening.

Chief Philip Weymouth of the Fryeburg Police Department said police had been investigating a series of home burglaries and car break-ins in Fryeburg and surrounding communities. He said in a burglary July 22 of a woman’s vehicle, jewelry, television, credit cards and other items were stolen.

Weymouth said officer Jim Forbes put together information he received from other officers, leading him to Burke and Martin. He asked a trash company to hold off on picking up a Dumpster outside their residence for a week, and instructed them to deliver it to the town garage once they had picked it up.

There, Forbes and Cpl. Richard Murray looked through the trash. Weymouth said they found beer cans matching those found at a burglary, a credit card that had been reported stolen, an AARP card and a driver’s license. They also found papers with the names and addresses of Burke and Martin.

“It was damn good police work. There’s no doubt about it,” Weymouth said. “Not too many cops would crawl into a Dumpster.”

After a search warrant was served on the house, Weymouth said police had to rent a pod to store the items found there: 15 wallets, five laptops, cameras, jewelry, speakers and amplifiers. Police also found that some stolen items had been sold online.

Weymouth said the two men were charged in five home burglaries and vehicle break-ins.

Investigators were still compiling a list of stolen goods and checking with other police agencies to see whether Fryeburg police had recovered stolen goods from thefts in those areas.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.