When Inn Town Motel manager Andrew Coombs knocked on the door of one of the units on Main Street in Norway to collect rent from the tenant July 11, the first thing he saw was this stand holding more than a dozen spiders in cases. Submitted photo

NORWAY — Inn Town Motel manager Andrew Coombs found dozens of unwanted guests when he tried to collect payment from one of his motel customers last weekend.

A total of 53 hairy spiders in plastic cases were arranged throughout the room on stands and tables.

Coombs promptly called police Saturday, July 11.

“The guy had been here about 10 days,” Coombs said Tuesday. “Turns out he gave me a bogus number and address when he checked in. He said he was from Waterford, but I don’t even  know where he’s really from.”

Norway Animal Control Officer Robert Larrabee responded to Coombs’ call and referred the case to the Maine Warden Service.

Warden Tim Coombs cited Sean Schoomaker for possessing three ttarantulas that are illegal in Maine. The other 50 arachnids were confiscated and taken for further examination to Drew Desjardins of Mr. Drew and His Animals Too, who operates a wild animal rehab center in Lewiston.

Andrew Coombs said those spiders, which he referred to as tarantulas as well, are being looked over to see if they, too, are illegal species.

Warden Coombs was not available for comment.

However, Desjardins noted that in Maine there are only three types of tarantula that are legal to possess. Any others must have an importation permit and a permit of possession through the state. He said most of the remaining 50 were varieties of tarantulas.

Andrew Coombs evicted Schoomaker and his girlfriend, identified only as Kyla, from the Main Street motel. Schoomaker traveled to Lewiston to find another place to stay and possibly try to recollect his spiders.

Drew Desjardins of Mr. Drew and His Animals Too in Lewiston said Old World species of tarantulas such as this Poecilotheria Metallica can be a bit more aggressive toward humans than the New World species. This one was confiscated from a motel in Norway on July 11. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“I booted him,” Coombs said. “He must have snuck them all in at night. We never would have allowed that in our motel.

“I can’t imagine he’s going to find anyone to let him check in with those tarantulas.”

Coombs and his wife, Sherry, have been managing the Inn Town Motel since December and renovating the rooms and attract law-abiding clientele.

“We won’t put up with that kind of customer,” he said.


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