19-Year-Old Fort Fairfield Man Arrested for Vandalism Spree
Police arrested a 19-year-old Fort Fairfield man for “a large vandalism spree” overnight July 7th into July 8.
Jacob McLaughlin was arrested after Fort Fairfield police posted on their Facebook requesting information. Police said one local business, who had their picnic tables vandalized, was able to provide “excellent evidence of the suspect.” Several tips were reported, including one to Crime Stoppers that led to his arrest.
The damage included to local flower pots, including a historical cement flower pot that has been at the public library for decades, said Chief Shawn D. Newell, Director of Public Safety.
Officer Dale Keegan and Officer Ryan Eagles spent many hours from the morning to late evening tracking down the suspect, interviewing several people, and speaking to other businesses with security footage, said Newell. Through the Crime Stoppers tip and the officers doing "knock and talk," they tracked down McLaughlin.
Chief of Police Shawn Newell said, "I'm very proud of my officers for their work and dedication to this community. Many people have expressed their anger on Facebook regarding this incident and we feel the same way. We have a wonderful and caring community and none of us will tolerate or condone this type of behavior. My officers worked hard today to solve this case and I'm very proud of them."
Officers located McLaughlin around 9:45 PM, where he was interviewed and arrested for criminal mischief. His bail was set at $500 cash. McLaughlin was able to post the bail and has been given a court date.
Chief Newell also said, “one of the reasons why living in Aroostook County is better than any other place is because of folks like those at Smith’s Greenhouses in Mapleton. I was contacted by them and they offered to restore our planters and refill them with plants. Several of our plants were salvaged and it will take about a week for them to recover in their greenhouse. It absolutely amazes me, but also doesn’t surprise me, when people in our community and surrounding communities step up to help each other. That’s just who we are, we look out for each other and we take care of each other. It’s incredible when people and businesses like Smith’s Greenhouses step up to the plate to help.”