ELLSWORTH — A local woman is out $700 after police said she transferred money to Georgia in payment for a rental property in Lamoine.
According to a report, the woman, who lives in Ellsworth, filled out several online forms via a site described as “Better Homes and Gardens Realty.”
The supposed landowner, Ehricht Francile Foote, requested the money be sent via Money Gram in exchange for keys to the property. When the keys did not materialize, the woman contacted a Realtor, who “immediately told her it was a scam” and reported it to police.
The owners of the property were unaware someone was soliciting rentals on their behalf.
Police Chief Glenn Moshier said similar scams are common, although he called this one “elaborate” and said it’s the first he’s seen where the rental property actually existed. Police are investigating, but Moshier said he doesn’t have high hopes for recovering the funds.
“It’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to track anybody down,” said Moshier, noting that computer scams can be particularly difficult to trace. He reminded residents to make sure a situation passes “the straight face test.”
“If it makes you question,” said Moshier, “there’s probably a reason.”
Animals were the cause of several accidents this week.
Eighteen-year-old Tanner Fishburn was not hurt when the car he was operating hit a deer on the Mariaville Road late in the evening on Jan. 20.
The Mariaville man was headed north when a deer darted out from across the road. The car was drivable, with damage to the front end, but the deer was killed on impact.
Another evening run-in with a deer happened the following evening, Jan. 21, in Ellsworth on Water Street near Card Brook.
Police said Peter DeGiosafatto was heading south on Water Street when he hit a deer on the driver’s side. The 56-year-old Ellsworth man reported no injuries and was able to drive away.
Riley Swanson, 19, of Trenton also escaped injury when the car he was operating struck a deer on Bayside Road in Ellsworth just before 7 a.m. on Jan. 24. The car had minor damage to the front corner. The deer died at the scene.
Not long after, a Bar Harbor man hit another deer on High Street. Police said Michael Tadenev, 35, was heading north near the Comfort Inn when a deer ran out in front of the car he was driving. Unable to stop, Tadenev collided with the animal. An officer responding to the crash dispatched the deer at the scene. Tadenev did not report any injuries.
Priscilla Smith suffered possible injuries to her chest and stomach after swerving to avoid an “unknown animal” on the Mariaville Road during the early morning hours of Jan. 21.
According to police, the 30-year-old Ellsworth woman was traveling south when an animal ran out in front of the car she was operating. The vehicle, a passenger van licensed as a taxi, crossed the road, struck two mailboxes and passed two driveways before coming to rest in a ditch. It had to be towed from the scene.
Thefts and other losses
The Police Department enlisted the public’s help with the identification of three people who are alleged to have stolen two Zippo lighters from Marden’s valued at a total of $16.78.
Officers posted a photo of those they say took the lighters “in hopes of identification,” but no one has been charged in the case.
Alorah Gellerson, 22, and Charlene Farnsworth, 26, both of Blue Hill, were charged with theft, Class E after police were able to identify them from video surveillance provided by Marden’s. Police said the women stole fake eyelashes, cosmetics, essential oils and jewelry with a combined value of around $40 from the store on Jan. 13.
James Pilvines, 57, of Otis, violation of a protection order at the Ellsworth District Court on Jan. 17.
Alex Dmeitriff, 21, of Somesville, violation of conditions of release on Jan. 25.
Brittany Wood, 27, of Ellsworth was arrested on charges of operating after suspension, Class E, violation of conditions of release, Class E and unlawful possession of a Schedule W drug, Class D after she was stopped on Oak Street on Jan. 25 and found to be in possession of a suboxone strip.
Richard Knight, 55, of Fletchers Landing was issued a summons charging him with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, Class D, after an officer responded to a crash near the intersection of Patriot Road and North Street on Jan. 22.
According to a police report, Knight was heading north on North Street when he drifted into the southbound lane and attempted to overcorrect his steering. The SUV he was operating rolled over, landed in a ditch on the opposite side of the road and came to rest on its roof.
Knight was alone in the car and reported no injuries in the crash, which happened around 6:30 in the evening. The car had extensive damage to the roof and had to be towed from the scene.
Billy Knowlton, 33, of Ellsworth was charged with theft, Class E, after he allegedly stole $3 worth of hardware items from Marden’s on Jan. 23.
Zachary Floyd, 18, of Gouldsboro was summoned on a charge of operating after suspension on Jan. 25. Floyd was driving on the Downeast Highway when officers pulled him over.
James M. Doe Jr. 27, of Ellsworth, operating after suspension and failure to pay a fine.
James Doty, 16, of Ellsworth, improper passing on Route 1 on Jan. 23.
Susan Hughes, 64, of Ellsworth, 25 mph in a 15-mph-zone on Pond Avenue, Jan. 25.