Accused car thief makes bail

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted July 23, 2009, at 9:46 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Glenburn man who on Wednesday allegedly stole a car in Bangor, was chased on foot to Brewer by police, then swam the Penobscot River back to Bangor in an effort to elude them left 3rd District Court in tears Thursday as his family and friends promised to raise his $500 cash bail.

Allan Burke-Sapiel, 20, made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon on felony charges of unauthorized use of property and receiving stolen property. He did not enter pleas to the charges.

His case is expected to be transferred to Penobscot County Superior Court because he has been charged with felonies.

Burke-Sapiel made bail Thursday night and was released from the Penobscot County Jail. He could face other charges. His driver’s license was suspended, according to court documents.

His blood alcohol level was 0.07 percent, according to police. Although that is below the 0.08 percent level for drunken driving, Burke-Sapiel is not old enough to consume alcohol.

Burke-Sapiel was convicted last year on five counts of burglary to a motor vehicle, Susan Pope, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, said Thursday. He also has convictions for failure to appear, theft and violation of conditions of release, she said.

The incident that led to Burke-Sapiel’s arrest started when he “found a car with keys in it on Sixth Street and he went for a joy ride,” Bangor police Lt. Jeff Millard said Wednesday.

The car owner heard her 2002 Volkswagen Golf being driven out of the driveway and called police around 12:30 a.m., according to police.

“At about 2:30 a.m., an officer tried to stop it and it fled,” Millard said. “It crashed into Nason Park Manor, which is at 140 Hancock Street. The operator fled on foot. He ran towards the Penobscot River.”

After reaching the river’s edge, Burke-Sapiel ran across the Penobscot Bridge to the Brewer side, where officers from that city pursued him on foot, Millard said.

To escape, Burke-Sapiel apparently decided to swim for it.

“He swam across to Bangor,” Millard said Wednesday. “We were just waiting for him to swim to shore. Then we arrested him.”

Police observed a second male run from the car when it came to a stop. Burke-Sapiel refused to identify the other person, according to court documents.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

990-8207

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/07/23/news/bangor/accused-car-thief-makes-bail/ printed on July 23, 2014