Belfast Police make arrest following string of autumn burglaries
BELFAST — Belfast Police have arrested a Belfast man in relation to a rash of burglaries that struck Belfast in the late summer.
Peter McCaffrey, 46, of Belfast, has been charged with receiving stolen property and violating conditions of release, though multiple counts of burglary are expected, according to Sergeant John Gibbs.
Sixteen burglaries were reported in Belfast between Oct. 11 and Nov, 7, with thousands of dollars of property stolen.
According to Gibbs, McCaffrey has been a person of interest in the burglaries for a while, but it wasn’t until Jan. 31 that a search warrant was obtained for his property and executed the same day.
During the search, they were able to locate items that were known to have been taken during the series of burglaries.
While officers were on scene they noticed a large number of items they suspected to also be stolen, so Belfast Police obtained an additional search warrant served Feb. 1.
So many items were on scene that Gibbs decided to post the items on Facebook as they were located. There are currently 40 photos, some with comments claiming ownership of the items shown, which include kayaks, tools, boat motors, and appliances.
Police said there is also a constant flow of people calling to claim recovered property. Many were reportedly unaware their items had been stolen in the first place.
Among the items found were formerly brand-new appliances stolen from the then recently finished Habitat for Humanity home in Searsport.
The thefts took place overnight Nov. 7, when the locked, unoccupied, house was broken into.
Items taken included a refrigerator and stove that had been installed not even 12 hours prior, a chandelier, tools, and a cooler, which still had Habitat for Humanity scrawled across the top.
All the items missing from the Habitat home were recovered from McCaffrey’s property, according to Meg Klingelhofer, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County.
The refrigerator had been used, and the now-damaged stove, still in its box, appeared to have fallen off a truck, Gibbs said.
Items missing after recent burglaries in Lincolnville were also found on the property.
The total value of recovered items is already well into the thousands.
When questioned, McCaffrey declined to speak with police, instead requesting a lawyer, police said.
Belfast Police are still trying to locate another person of interest for questioning.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org