Thursday, October 3, 2002

Scarborough man kidnapped at gunpoint by carpenter

Published in the Current

A Scarborough man was kidnapped at gunpoint from his driveway Oct. 1 by a carpenter claiming he was owed money.

The two drove across Cumberland County in search of a bank to withdraw funds. They ended up at a Falmouth bank, where a teller called police, who arrested the kidnapper without incident.

At 7:10 a.m., Rodger Smith, 55, of Old Colony Lane was in his driveway when he was approached by Joseph Loughery, 43, of Poland, according to Falmouth Police Chief Edward Tolan. Loughery said he wanted payment for carpentry work done on Smith’s house a year ago.

Smith told Loughery he wasn’t going to pay, Tolan said, because the quality of the work was poor.

At that point, Loughery produced a 9-millimeter handgun from a shoulder holster and told Smith the gun had two bullets, “one for his wife and one for his knee,” Tolan said.

Smith’s wife was home, but was unaware of the situation, said Falmouth Detective Tom Brady.

Loughery demanded payment for work done on Smith’s home about a year ago, Tolan said. Scarborough Code Enforcement Officer Dave Grysk said the only permit Smith had for 2001 was for a 14-by-18-foot porch to be constructed at his home.

The work was to be done by “Joe the Carpenter,” the name under which
Loughery does business.

Fearing for his wife’s safety, Smith agreed to drive Loughery to a bank where Smith would withdraw the money to pay for the work, Tolan said. They drove around the area because a number of banks weren’t open, ending up at the Peoples Heritage Bank on Route 1 in Falmouth, Tolan said.

In the parking lot, Loughery again showed Smith the gun and the two bullets, all of which were in a briefcase on Loughery’s lap, and followed Smith partway into the bank. Smith went to a teller while Loughery stood in the foyer and then outside the bank, Tolan said.

Smith told the teller that he had been kidnapped at gunpoint and asked the teller to call police. The call came into the Falmouth police at 9:12 a.m., reporting a man with a gun at the bank, Tolan said, leading officers to believe they had a possible bank robbery on their hands.

Upon arrival, officers saw Loughery outside the bank and “subdued him without incident,” Tolan said. A search of the car turned up the gun, wo bullets and two pairs of handcuffs. “You can surmise whatever you think those handcuffs were to be used for,” Tolan said.

Falmouth police are handling the charges from the incident, which is considered a “continuing crime” that began in Scarborough and ended in Falmouth, according to Tolan and Scarborough Detective Sgt. Rick Rouse.

Loughery was arraigned Wednesday morning on charges of kidnapping and two counts of criminal threatening with a firearm, all felonies. A misdemeanor charge of violation of probation was not part of the arraignment but is expected, Detective Brady said.

Brady said Loughery was on probation in Androscoggin County for a second offense of operating under the influence, and was to be transferred to the Androscoggin County Jail after his arraignment in Portland District Court Wednesday morning.

He said Loughery is originally from out of state and had traveled around the country a lot. Tolan said his department is in the process of conducting a nationwide records search for Loughery’s criminal history, if there is any.

Phone calls from the Current to the Smith residence were not returned, and there was no answer at the door of their home Wednesday afternoon.

Neighbors on Old Colony Lane said the Smiths had not been home the evening after the incident and did not know how to contact them.