PITTSFIELD, Maine - Several burglars struck the Pittsfield transfer station and recycling center overnight Tuesday, stealing scrap metal, at least 50 vehicle batteries and many returnable bottles.
Authorities estimate the value of the items taken at about $2,000.
Center manager Don Chute said the thieves entered the station sometime between closing at 4 p.m. Tuesday and opening Wednesday morning by driving through tall grass from a nearby fire department training center.
There is no road between the two facilities but crushed grass and weeds clearly showed the path the vehicle took.
Pittsfield police Officer Marty Cochran guessed, based on the amount of scrap metal taken, that either two pickup trucks or one truck with a trailer was used.
Police think the burglars may have been interrupted as enormous bags of recyclables were left on the center lawn and a number of items were left on a wall at the metal bin, including a coat, hat, glove and assorted tools and a flashlight. Nearby was evidence that someone was dismantling gas grills and other items to scavenge the salable metal.
Chute said that just one gas grill cover could be sold for at least $3. “They are easy to remove,” he said, pointing to a joint where one lid had simply been twisted off.
Chute said the fire department training center trailer, which is used for firefighting scenarios, had also recently been struck. “They stole the stove, the refrigerator, the wiring. They even stole the siding right off the trailer,” Chute said.
There could have been a serious incident, Chute said, because the burglars drove over an exposed propane line at the center on both their way in and out of the transfer station.
Chute said the bottles taken were valued at about $300 and were being saved for the new Pittsfield pool.
The burglary comes on the heels of two home burglaries Monday night on Madawaska Avenue where tools, an Xbox and games were taken.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Pittsfield Police Department at 487-3101.