PARIS — A man charged with stealing a mail bag from the Stoneham Post Office and guns from a camper last week said he was drugged by friends and fled into the woods for days before he broke into camps, according to police.

The man, who had not been positively identified by officials, told Oxford County Sheriff’s deputies during his arrest that he was Joseph Rice, 25, of Deerfield, Massachusetts. 

On Monday afternoon in Oxford County Unified Court, the man repeated that identity, then told the judge it wasn’t his name and refused to give another, according to witnesses.

His court case lists two names: John Doe, also known as Joseph Rice. 

According to an affidavit by Oxford County Deputy Richard Murray, the man removed an air conditioner from a window at the Stoneham Post Office on Route 5 on Friday, climbed inside and took a mailbag.

Police said he later entered a camper on McAllister Road, ransacked it and took four firearms owned by Darrell Whitley. The items were recovered the following day in a vacant camper nearby. 

As police were investigating, the man, armed with a stolen shotgun, was detained by Whitley and another man on McAllister Road, according to the affidavit.

According to Sgt. Matthew Baker, Whitley told police the man admitted to the burglaries. When a deputy asked him his name, the man told him he was Joseph Rice.

“‘I was with some people and I think they drugged me. I ran into the woods three or four days ago and started breaking into camps,'” Baker quoted the man as saying.

The man is charged with two felony burglaries and one felony theft and a misdemeanor theft.

Bail was set at $3,500, but he was ordered held until he complies with authorities. His next court appearance is Oct. 26. 

[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.