Orchard Trails robbery frightens residents and community

On Jan. 8, Orono police officers arrested Michael P. Lynch and Clark N. Thomas for armed robbery following an incident at Orchard Trails Apartments in Orono. UMaine student Katelyn H. Heiman was also arrested for hindering apprehension or prosecution.

The robbery took place at the apartment complex in the evening. The original police call came in at roughly 6:30 p.m. and police made arrests at 10:30 p.m., according to Orono Police Chief Josh Ewing.

The Bangor Daily News (BDN), Penbaypilot.com and WABI describe the scene in which a masked robber, holding what appeared to be a firearm, entered an Orchard Trails apartment and demanded cash from the residents. One resident retrieved a firearm from his room, forcing the robber to flee. Police followed footprints in the snow from the scene of the crime to another apartment building where the arrests occurred.

Detectives believe Lynch was the masked individual. Thomas was arrested on the grounds that “he took part, at least, in going to the apartment,” Ewing stated.

Orono PD could not release details on what actions warranted Heiman’s charge. “Based on her involvement, we felt that an appropriate charge for her was hindering the apprehension. That can mean all kinds of things,” Ewing noted.

Heiman mentioned in an interview that she wants to emphasize that she was not present in the apartment where the robbery took place.

Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution is a Maine Criminal Code Statute with six subsections. Each subsection lays out different scenarios in which a person may be guilty of impeding a police arrest. The statute makes it illegal to commit such actions as “harboring or concealing” a person or providing “means of avoiding discovery or apprehension” to one who has committed a crime.

A condensed definition of 10 U.S. Code § 922 – Art. 122, robbery is stealing from a person in their presence.

“We had parents call immediately afterward, worried about their child being at Orchard Trails and we told everyone this is a simple isolated incident,” Ewing said.

Heiman is still waiting for her arraignment and cannot speak in detail about the events. “There are so many factors about what happened that haven’t been said in any of the papers. It’d be nice if someone wrote one after everything occurred but that’s not how the news works. I spoke to the school and I’m now allowed to take online classes, thank God, but I’m still not allowed on campus until this is all cleared. I’m going to be staying at home taking classes, a pottery class and helping teach refugees from Congo English at my church. Everyone who personally knows me has stuck right by my side.”

The case is still currently under investigation and the suspects will be going to trial soon.

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