St. George man pleads guilty to 27 theft, burglary charges
Rockland — A 47-year-old Tenants Harbor man pleaded guilty to 27 charges Sept. 20 in Knox County Superior Court, following two arrests for stealing items ranging from toilet paper to a $3,000 watch.
Ricky Block, with his attorney Roger Hurley of Camden, decided to plead guilty to the charges and forgo a trial. The state dismissed two charges.
A plea agreement calls for Block to be sentenced to nine years, which will be served concurrently, and he will serve three years probation upon release. If he violates probation, he may serve 10 additional years to account for charges in Penobscot County, for which sentencing has been suspended.
Block also admitted to violating probation, writing a bad check, possessing a firearm as a prohibited person and operating a motor vehicle without a license.
Hurley said Block was second-guessing himself in his decision to plead guilty to the charges, and said they had gone over the decision "a zillion times."
"He is extremely concerned and scared," Hurley said of his client.
Block's theft spree spanned six towns in the Midcoast, and police determined he has stolen thousands of items, including guns, jewelry and television sets.
A collaborative effort by the Knox County Sheriff's Office, the Thomaston Police Department and the Rockland Police Department resulted in Block's arrest for the burglaries, said Thomaston Police Chief Kevin Haj last year.
Block was arrested last October by Sgt. Timothy Hoppe of the Thomaston Police Department. When he was released from custody on bail, he was apprehended a second time for thefts in November.
Block has previously served time for burglary.
The investigation began when Deputy Nathaniel Jack of the Knox County Sheriff's Office conducted a routine traffic stop and the operator of the vehicle was arrested. The person operating the vehicle was in possession of several women's rings and photos of the jewelery were taken by Jack.
Two search warrants of Block's home in Tenants Harbor recovered the many stolen items. Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody said if the case was to go to trial, the state would introduce testimony form law enforcement and victims.
The recovered items from Block's apartment were sorted and documented in a photo catalog. Some items have been identified by owners.
Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.