BANGOR, Maine — Three men purchased enough state-subsidized, energy-efficient light bulbs to fill a rented truck with the bright idea of selling them for a profit in Chicago, police said Wednesday.
Bangor police brought in bomb-sniffing and drug-sniffing dogs after receiving reports of a rented box truck parked outside the federal courthouse Wednesday evening. In the end, no crime was committed and the truck was simply full of light bulbs piled high on pallets, said Police Sgt. Tim Cotton.
Some of the bulbs were purchased from local big box retailers and subsidized by Efficiency Maine, said Cotton.
Under the program, compact-fluorescent bulbs that normally sell for $2 each and LED light bulbs that normally sell for $10 can be purchased by consumers for 25 cents and $2 to $5, respectively, said Efficiency Maine's executive director, Michael Stoddard.
While the subsidized bulbs are a bargain, Efficiency Maine is aware of only one other case of someone exceeding the 12-item purchase limit, Stoddard said.
Stores that sell subsidized bulbs in excess of a dozen won't be reimbursed and will have to absorb the loss, he said.
Cotton said the men told police they intended to sell them for a big profit in Chicago.
One of the three men, a Jordanian national, was detained because of a visa violation and will likely be deported, he said. Two others were allowed to go, but without the truck.
What becomes of the load of light bulbs was unclear. The person who leased the truck wanted the truck and cargo, but the trucking company was retrieving the vehicle, Cotton said.