BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Police say the ever increasing use of illegal drugs is the motive behind the home invasion and attempted robbery in Orrington. Investigators arrested Donald Getchell of Greenbush, Benjamin Sprague a Bangor area transient, and Chester Birmingham of Bangor. All three men are being held at Penobscot County Jail for class A robbery.
Sheriff Glenn Ross of Penobscot County said, "The illegal drug usage that is happening in the state of Maine is driving these property crimes. This armed robbery here is an example of drug use."
Both the Penobscot County Sheriff's office and Maine State Police are familiar with the men for previous crimes. Birmingham is currently on federal probation for a robbery in another state.
Authorities say the three men broke into an Orrington home earlier this month and held a woman by knife point. The three men then allegedly attempted to rob Kozy Korner store in Orrington before being chased off by customers.
Sheriff Glenn Ross says this is an example of drug use fueling crime in Central and Northern Maine. Authorities across the state are dealing with similar crimes of people breaking into occupied homes or businesses looking for money to fuel their drug abuse addictions.
Sheriff Ross said, "There is a saying in law enforcement, when you're a drug abuser you steal or you deal. Those are you two options. So the heroin, bath salts, pharmaceuticals that we are seeing, to people, that becomes their only purpose in life. When they wake up in the morning they are looking for money to do their next thing and they become brazen. They feel getting the drugs is worth the risk."
According to Ross, criminals are entering occupied homes and businesses with the use of weapons. Investigators are sharing their information and tips from the public with other agencies to see if their is a connection.
The three men made their first court appearance on Friday in a Penobscot County courtroom. They are being held at the Penobscot County jail.
Authorities urge residents to remain alert and if they see something suspicious do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement.