The Buy and Sell Shop on State Street in Bangor was broken into on March 24, 2022. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

A Bangor man was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison with all but 2½  years suspended after admitting that he burglarized eight Bangor businesses downtown and on the west side of town last March and stole merchandise.

Clyde Cooper, 52, pleaded guilty to eight counts of burglary, eight counts of theft and one count of drug possession on the second day of his jury trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

In addition to prison time, Superior Court Justice Ann Murray sentenced Cooper to two years of probation and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution to the victims, about one-third of the $15,000 business owners reported in damages and losses, a large portion of which was covered by insurance.

The businesses who were victims of Cooper’s crimes were: Fairmount Market, Tri-Athlete Sports, Buy and Sell Shop, Herbal Tea and Tobacco, Timberland Herbal Connection, East Coast Gold and two locations of the WeeBeez Deli and Market.

Cooper entered the businesses by breaking a front door or smashing a window to gain access, said District Attorney R. Christopher Almy, who prosecuted the case, onThursday. Cooper stole merchandise including cigarettes, lottery tickets, sneakers and other items that he could sell or trade for drugs.

Dan Tremble, owner of Fairmount Market and a Bangor City Councilor, told Murray before Cooper was sentenced that the dozen burglaries in March 2022 at businesses  “put the community on edge.

“There was a lot of unease around town,” he said.

Almy gave Bangor police detectives credit for bringing Cooper to justice after gathering surveillance videos and other evidence at the crime scenes.

 

The prosecutor recommended Cooper serve three years. Defense attorney Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth asked that his client serve two years. In exchange for Cooper’s guilty pleas, Almy dropped a gun possession charge.

Toothaker said that Cooper’s crimes were driven by his substance use disorder and being homeless, but added that his client has received treatment while at Penobscot County Jail.

Cooper, who walked away from a work detail in Bangor 2016 while in the custody of the Maine Department of Corrections, has been held at the Bangor jail unable to post a $10,000 cash bail since his arrest on March 26. That time will be applied to his sentence.

He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the felony burglary charges and one theft charge, and between six months and a year in prison on the other misdemeanor theft charges.