FARMINGTON — Police from several agencies are investigating a rash of catalytic converter thefts this month from vehicles at the University of Maine at Farmington, the Regional School Unit 9 bus garage and a business in New Sharon.

UMF campus police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Farmington and Jay police departments are among the agencies investigating the thefts of the devices that are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system.

Four of the devices were reported stolen from vehicles in UMF’s parking lots. Seven have been stolen since February, UMF campus police Chief Brock Caton wrote in an email. Vehicles were either parked at the university’s Lot 18 on Front Street or Lot 26 behind the Fitness and Recreation Center off Quebec Street.

Six of the vehicles belonged to students and one was from a guest’s vehicle, he said.

“We are conducting increased security checks in all our lots,” Caton said.

Campus police officers, in collaboration with the Farmington Police Department, have increased security checks in all UMF parking lots and downtown Farmington business areas in an attempt to deter thefts and identify possible suspects, he said.


Other agencies have also stepped up patrols.

A van owned by RSU 9 had a converter stolen from the district’s bus garage lot on Learning Lane, Deputy Chief Shane Cote said. It was reported stolen on April 19 after staff members returned from a long weekend.

“They estimate it was cut off between when it was parked on the 15th and when people came back to work on the 19th of April,” he said.

In all, the Farmington Police Department has had two reports of stolen converters since the fall, Cote said.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said his deputies are investigating the theft of five converters since February. Two of those were stolen this month from vehicles parked at Tuttles Auto Sales on Farmington Falls Road, also known U.S. Route 2 and state Route 27 in New Sharon.

Three catalytic converters were cut from three snowmobilers’ trucks in February parked at the Height of Land in Letter D Township, Nichols said.


Jay Police Chief Richard Caton said his officers are investigating two attempted thefts and at least three converters that were taken over the past few weeks. A couple of them were parked at businesses and others at residences. Others have also been stolen since the fall.

Lewiston police reported in late March a total of 16 converters had been stolen since the beginning of the year with seven during one week in March.

Anyone with information on the Franklin County thefts is asked to call UMF police Sgts. Wayne Drake or Marc Bowering at 207-778-7400, the Farmington Police Department at 207-778-6311, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 207-778-2680 or the Jay Police Department at 207-897-6766.

Nichols said people could also message the Sheriff’s Office on its Facebook page at

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