You see it often in big cities and metropolitan areas, people standing on the street corner asking for money. You don't see it so frequently up here in Aroostook County, but when you do, you notice it.


The Houlton Police Department was called in to handle a similar incident in Houlton last weekend.

While panhandling is not illegal in Houlton, it led to a problem. People had been standing in median on North Street near Wal-Mart soliciting, and many kind people did dole out some money or offer some form of assistance.

And while that's not a problem, Houlton Police say that there was an incident last Sunday, August 11th in which one or more of these individuals went into nearby Shop n' Save and purchased $80 worth of vodka. They were spotted dumping the alcohol into a water jug and returning to the entrance of the store.

The Houlton Police Department responded and subsequently arrested 38-year-old Shannon Belmonte for Disorderly Conduct. Mr. Belmonte has an extensive criminal history. Police believe that all of the individuals reside in the Southern Aroostook County town of Oakfield.

At the request of Wal-Mart, theses individuals were notified that they can no longer be on store property.