Trio charged in car thefts after chase

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 05, 2008, at 7:41 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — Two juveniles and an adult are facing a blizzard of charges after allegedly spending an evening stealing cars, leading police on a chase and ramming a police cruiser.

State police Sgt. Julie Bergan said last week that the incident took place late Thursday evening, after police simultaneously began investigating a report of a stolen motor vehicle from Hodgdon and a missing juvenile from Ludlow.

Police soon determined that the two cases were connected.

The stolen vehicle, a 2002 GMC pickup, was spotted around midnight by U.S. Border Patrol Agent Tory Keehn. The agent attempted to stop the truck on Interstate 95 in Houlton, but the operator refused to comply. The truck continued south on the interstate at speeds exceeding 95 mph before leaving I-95 at Smyrna. The operator then turned onto a back road and slowed the vehicle to 35 mph. Fifteen miles into the chase, Bergan set up a roadblock on Keith Brook Road in Oakfield, but the vehicle sped through without stopping.

Bergan then led the pursuit as she and Troopers Dennis Quint and Nicholas Casavant chased the truck another 17 miles toward Island Falls. Bergan said the truck kept speeding up and slowing down, with speeds ranging from 25 mph to 60 mph.

Bergan eventually was able to pull alongside the pickup, but the driver slammed into the side of her cruiser.

Additional Border Patrol agents arrived and joined the pursuit, following the truck onto Sleeper Road in Sherman. Bergan said police then were forced to call off the pursuit because the terrain on the back country road was too rugged and “became extremely difficult to maneuver in.”

A follow-up investigation determined that the three suspects later abandoned the truck in nearby woods and fled on foot, walking for some distance before they came upon another motor vehicle. One of the juveniles, a male, found the keys to the 2004 Ford Taurus in Sherman and the trio sped off in it, driving around for some time.

Bergan said that one of the suspects, Sam Heath, 18, of Sherman, was dropped off at his residence while the two juveniles drove on to Mars Hill. The duo then met two female juveniles who joined them in the stolen vehicle for a trip to Presque Isle.

Around 7:30 a.m. Friday, state police Sgt. David McPherson encountered the stolen car in Westfield and conducted a felony traffic stop.

All of the occupants complied with his commands, according to Bergan, and all four juveniles were taken to the Presque Isle Police Department.

The male juvenile was arraigned in Presque Isle District Court on Friday on two counts of unauthorized use of property, passing a roadblock, driving to endanger, eluding a police officer, operating without a license, speeding and aggravated criminal mischief.

The other juvenile involved, a female, has been charged with unauthorized use of property.

Heath has been charged with two counts of unauthorized use of property and operating a motor vehicle after suspension.

The two female juveniles who got into the car with the juvenile suspects have not been charged.

Bergan’s cruiser had approximately $1,200 in damage.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/10/05/news/trio-charged-in-car-thefts-after-chase/ printed on July 25, 2014