Scott W. Allard, 54 Credit: Police photo courtesy of Lincoln County News

A transient with a 1984 murder conviction and a “very lengthy criminal history” will return to prison for 1.5 years for stealing cars in Damariscotta.

Scott W. Allard, 54, pleaded guilty to two counts of class C theft by unauthorized taking and three counts of class C unauthorized use of property Aug. 13, according to court documents.

He was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for each count, according to the documents. He will serve the sentences concurrently. He must also pay $175 in fines.

The charges of unauthorized use relate to the vehicles themselves, while the theft charges relate to Allard’s theft of the contents of vehicles, including a camera and a GPS unit.

The charges were all felonies because Allard has prior convictions for theft, in addition to his 1984 conviction for murder in Waldo County. Details of the murder case were not readily available.

Damariscotta Police Chief Jason Warlick arrested Allard on March 19.

The week before the arrest, the Damariscotta Police Department had fielded several complaints about Allard panhandling downtown.

“He didn’t have any probation or bail conditions and wasn’t committing any crimes,” Warlick said at the time, but the department learned of his record.

“He has a very lengthy criminal history dating back to the early ’80s,” Warlick said.

His rap sheet includes convictions for murder, robbery, and multiple instances of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, as well as burglaries, car thefts, and drug crimes, according to Warlick.

On March 15, the department received a call about an abandoned vehicle parked erratically with the keys in the ignition at McCormick and Bouchard Eye Care LLC on Biscay Road.

An investigation revealed that the vehicle was missing from a local repair shop. The vehicle did not have any damage, and was returned to its owner. The department did not have any suspects for the theft.

Two days later, on March 17, the department received a report of an abandoned vehicle with the keys in the ignition at Mr. Mike’s Market on Main Street.

An investigation revealed that the vehicle was missing from a different local repair shop.

Again, there was no damage and no suspects. However, one of the businesses had surveillance footage of the theft.

Warlick recognized the person in the footage as similar in appearance to Allard.

On March 19, Warlick questioned Allard. Allard confessed to the two vehicle thefts and one more, according to Warlick, as well as to taking items from other vehicles.

Allard told Warlick he entered the vehicles in an attempt to steal them. When a vehicle didn’t have keys in the ignition or was stuck in the snow, he would move on to another.

“He said he just wanted to joyride,” Warlick said of Allard’s motive.

Warlick recovered the items stolen from the vehicles. “He had them all stored away in a backpack and he voluntarily took me to the location of the items and gave them back,” Warlick said.

Warlick didn’t know why Allard came to Damariscotta. He also frequents the Augusta and Bangor areas.

A financial affidavit, necessary to receive a court-appointed attorney, lists his most recent address as 53 Biscay Road. The property belongs to the nonprofit Stepping Stone Housing Inc., which provides transitional housing.

Allard is in custody at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

Newcastle-based attorney William M. Avantaggio represented Allard.

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