Camden Police charged a Lincolnville man with criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his truck into large propane tanks behind Clean Bee Laundry on Jan. 23.

Nicholas Winter, 19, of Lincolnville, is accused of using a truck and plow to push protective concrete barriers away from the tanks, knocking over two them and severing the propane line, causing a spill.

He was also charged by the Camden Police Department with unauthorized use of property for taking the full-sized truck with a plow without permission, and for operating a vehicle after suspension, according to Detective Curt Andrick. Police await estimates on the damage from Clean Bee Laundry and the owner of the truck.

Winter was arrested at a Route 1 home in Northport Jan. 23 by the Waldo County Sheriff's Office for disorderly conduct. Waldo County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Matt Curtis said that according to the report, Winter called the sheriff's office himself around 8 p.m., and was screaming and incoherent. When Waldo County deputies arrived, Winter was loud and unruly and was issued a summons for possession of liquor by a minor. He calmed down, but became unruly again, and was arrested on the disorderly conduct charge.

On the evening of Jan. 23, Clean Bee Laundry owner Ryan Lawrence said an employee alerted him around 7 p.m., saying there was loud banging and crashing going on in the parking lot, and it was going on for some time. He asked her to call police and the fire department. The employee was nervous about what was going on, Lawrence said, but managed to get the first four digits of the license plate on the vehicle. Lawrence said that thankfully there were no customers inside at the time.

Lawrence said that when he arrived at the laundry within about 15 minutes, he and the employee could smell propane, and he shut off the gas lines and the dryers. He saw that out in the back parking lot "two of the propane tanks were tipped over leaking fuel into the air, and the Jersey barriers that were in front of them were moved about 40 feet into the parking lot." The tanks weigh 1,700 pounds each when empty, and had both been filled the day before.

Camden police and firefighters arrived. Firefighters shut down the gas tanks, as the line was broken off at ground level and leaking, Lawrence said. Fabian Oil arrived several hours later and assessed the situation.

On Jan. 24, Fabian employees returned with a crane to put the tanks back in place, and install a new section of line. The new line had to be attached to a connector in the line, and because the line was underground, it had to be dug up. One of Lawrence's friends brought an excavator to dig up the underground line to the next connector. Lawrence said that by some miracle, there was no frost, as the area of underground line was covered by snow.

"By the end of the day, everything was put back together and we're up and running again," he said.

While Clean Bee remained open Jan. 24 for customers picking up and dropping off dry cleaning, the vandalism shut the laundry down for the day. Lawrence said that the business has a lot of commercial accounts and can do as much as 400 to 600 pounds of commercial laundry each day.