2017-03-14 / Front Page

Police: Eliot man admits to 80 rural burglaries

Senior Staff Writer

ALFRED — An Eliot man now in custody has allegedly told police he was involved in more than 80 burglaries — at least one stretching back to 2004.

John Daley, 54, remained at York County Jail this morning, after being arrested and charged by Maine State Police with multiple burglaries that took place in Lebanon, two of which allegedly involved handguns.

A tip from a person on social media led to Daley’s identification and subsequent arrest, according to Maine State Police.

He is facing many more charges stemming from a burglary spree in rural York County that took place at seasonal lakeside camps and homes in Shapleigh and Acton. Sheriff William King said Daley is alleged to have stolen electronics, jewelry, tools, loose change and prescription medicine —also one resident reported a firearm was stolen.

“After an interview, John Daley estimated he committed a large number of burglaries in the southern and western portions of York County,” said King in an email late Monday. “He is believed to be responsible for approximately 45 unsolved burglaries in Acton and Shapleigh.”

His identification emerged following a burglary on Dixon Road in Lebanon Feb. 15, when state police said, the homeowner was able to obtain a picture of the suspect on a game camera. 

Investigators put the picture on the Maine State Police Headquarters Facebook page and received a call from a citizen who recognized the suspect.

In a coordinated effort on March 8, Daley was stopped by state troopers and York County Sheriff’s deputies on Route 109 in Sanford.

“During subsequent interviews with Daley, he admitted to being involved in over 80 burglaries, one of which dates back to 2004 in York County,” state police said in a statement. “He also admitted to stealing guns, tools, and cash. Also located in his vehicle were stolen saws and the pry bar that was used to gain entry into the homes.”

Police said Daley was on probation from previous burglary convictions in the Wells area. He was held at York County Jail on a probation violation, for which no bail is allowed. On Monday, Daley was formally charged with multiple burglaries in Lebanon, two of which included firearms, police said. He is scheduled to make a first appearance at Springvale District Court by video from York County Jail on Wednesday.

“Since January 2015, the sheriff’s office received approximately 65 burglary reports of summer lake homes in Acton and Shapleigh,” said King. “Some places had been entered into multiple times during the winter when the dwellings were unoccupied.”

He said state police contacted sheriff’s deputies and the agencies worked together; they determined that the method of operation in the cases in each of their patrol districts was similar.

Sheriff’s deputies have primary responsibility for patrol in nine rural York County towns, including Acton and Shapleigh, while Maine State Police have primary responsibility for five, including Lebanon — the three communities where the burglaries took place.

King said the investigation is continuing and additional charges against Daley are expected.

He said deputies were able to recover about $3,000 worth of tools and household items.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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