December 7, 2012

Neighbor arrested after Christmas present theft in Oakland

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling
Staff Writer

3:15 p.m.

click image to enlarge

Charlotte and Del Lovejoy's Christmas presents for their family were stolen from their Oakland home overnight Wednesday. She started replacing them Thursday.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

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Jason Horne

Additional Photos Below

OAKLAND — A neighbor was arrested in connection with the theft of Christmas presents from the home of an elderly couple.

The neighbor, Jason Horne, 25, was found hiding underneath the insulation of his attic by members of the Oakland Police Department, who were executing a search warrant for stolen property at his home on Summer Street, according to Capt. Rick Stubbert.

Horne lives across the street from Charlotte Lovejoy, 87, and her husband, Del Lovejoy, a former head custodian at Messalonskee High School, who is disabled.

Stubbert said police received a tip from the public that aided the investigation and led to the arrest of Horne, who will be charged with class B burglary and theft. Horne also had an active arrest warrant against him on an unrelated matter.


OAKLAND -- An elderly couple woke up Thursday morning to discover that the Christmas presents they had bought for their family had been stolen from their home while they slept.

"I won't say that any crime is tasteful, but this one is particularly distasteful," said Capt. Rick Stubbert, of the Oakland Police Department.

Stubbert said a door to the residence was forced open and more than 15 items were stolen, along with some medication.

Charlotte Lovejoy, 87, said she first realized something was wrong when she noticed a cupboard was ajar early that morning.

She soon discovered that the house had been stripped bare of Christmas presents, including those for her 6-year-old great-niece.

"I am so ugly right now and I'm scared," said Lovejoy. "If I could get my hands on them, I'd kill them."

Lovejoy said the theft amounts to a serious financial blow for her and her husband, as they are living on fixed Social Security payments.

Like the fictional residents of Whoville in the popular seasonal story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," Lovejoy said her holiday spirit has not been taken from her.

"My family is very good," Lovejoy said. "They said to me not to buy for them, but of course I will get something. It won't be all it was, though."

Oakland police withheld certain details related to the burglary to aid in their ongoing investigation, which Stubbert said is one of many Christmas-present theft cases he has seen.

"It's not uncommon at all," Stubbert said. "We seem to have one or two every year."

He said home invasions of all sorts, including ones when people are home, are on the rise in the area.

He recommended that homeowners take precautions, including locking all windows and doors and installing motion sensor lights.

He said the best solution is a burglar alarm system and that such systems are becoming increasingly affordable.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling -- 861-9287

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Additional Photos

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Charlotte Lovejoy kisses her husband, Del, while at home on Summer Street in Oakland on Thursday.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans


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