November 28, 2022

Bar Harbor adults pay for role in abetting kids’ toy jeep heist

BAR HARBOR — Four Bar Harbor adults who covered up the theft of a toy jeep by three children in April will each pay fines and restitution, a Bar Harbor District Court judge ordered Monday.

Larry Roberts, 25, Melissa Roberts, 28, Rebecca Stanley, 27, and Stephen Stanley, 30, will each pay a $254 fine, and they are collectively responsible for paying $500 in restitution to the jeep’s owner. The four pleaded guilty for their role in concealing the theft, destroying the toy and covering up its disposal in an Ellsworth dumpster.

The incident began with the theft of a red $500 battery-operated Power Wheels toy jeep from an Eden Street garage on April 21. Three girls, all under the age of 10, snatched the toy, took it home, stripped it of decals and painted it black. They told their parents they had found it in a trash pile.

The owner of the jeep, a young girl, reported her toy missing, and her mother posted fliers around town seeking the lost toy.

When the parents of the girls who took the toy saw the fliers, they decided to conceal their children’s theft, and they chopped the toy into pieces. The pieces were placed in garbage bags and dropped by two of the adults into a dumpster behind Willey’s on High Street in Ellsworth.

In a later interview with police, two of the girls, who were accompanied by their parents, claimed they had taken the jeep, but returned it to the owner when their parents told them to take it back. They implied that someone else must have stolen the jeep if it was still missing.

The adults finally confessed to the ruse and their role to police, about five days after the jeep had been taken.

In court on Monday, the judge noted that the adults had made “a very poor decision.” The four adults, a couple of them noticeably contrite, indicated their regret for the incident that was compounded once they got involved. They said they have already paid much of the restitution owed.

The young girls are not being charged for taking the jeep.

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