LLSWORTH, Maine — As a result of Monday’s high-speed, two-vehicle chase through eastern Hancock County, local police have made gains in investigating a Dec. 30 incident in which a man apparently tried to use a gun to rob another outside a High Street business.
Lt. Harold Page of the Ellsworth Police Department said Tuesday that, because of the men police arrested Monday and evidence found in a vehicle the men crashed in Franklin, police have been able to make significant strides toward solving the Dec. 30 case.
“We feel like we’ve gotten some substantial leads,” Page said.
Page declined to describe what kind of evidence police found in the silver Saab that crashed Monday afternoon at the intersection of Route 182 and Route 200 in Franklin.
Arrested Monday were Hyunkook Korsiak, 29, of Harpswell and Joseph Allen Miller, 24, of Whitneyville. Both men had been in the car as it accelerated away from police on Route 182 at speeds of 130 mph before it slid off the road and struck a tree.
Police had been looking for the Saab and its “92K” loaner license plate since Dec. 30, when it was involved in an apparent robbery attempt outside an Ellsworth business. A man who pulled a gun on the business owner outside the business fled empty-handed in a vehicle reported to be a silver Saab with the same plate number. Both the silver Saab and the loaner license plate had been reported stolen in southern Maine, according to police.
The silver Saab, with the same license plate, was spotted again Monday in Harrington, which led to the police chase.
As multiple police agencies responded Monday after the reported sighting, the silver Saab sped off west on Route 182. Police backed off because of the high speeds, but the vehicle crashed as the driver tried to turn off Route 182 onto Route 200 in Franklin. Korsiak then allegedly stole a nearby red Saab and drove it to Ellsworth, where he eventually pulled over and surrendered to police, who had resumed the chase. Miller was captured by police at the Franklin accident scene.
No injuries were reported as a result of the crash or prolonged chase, police said.
Police said that, as of Tuesday, no one had been charged in connection with the Dec. 30 robbery attempt.
Miller, who police say was a passenger in the silver Saab, was arrested on a charge of receiving stolen property. He bailed out Monday evening from Hancock County Jail on $2,500 unsecured bail, a jail official said Tuesday.
Korsiak is being held on bail of $2,500 cash or $10,000 surety and as of late Tuesday afternoon was still in custody. He is facing charges of felony theft, passing a roadblock, eluding police, criminal speeding and driving to endanger. Unless he is able to make bail ahead of time, Korsiak is expected to appear in Ellsworth District Court at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12, officials said Tuesday.
Both Korsiak and Miller appear to have prior criminal records in Maine, according to information provided to the Bangor Daily News by the state’s Bureau of Identification.
Miller’s past offenses are a juvenile drug furnishing conviction in 2003 and a felony eluding an officer conviction in 2005, according to the bureau.
Korsiak’s criminal record includes convictions in 2000 for burglary, theft and negotiating a worthless instrument and, in 2001, convictions for robbery and aggravated assault, according to the documents.
A Cherryfield woman who asked not to be identified contacted the BDN Tuesday morning to say that she had contacted police about the silver Saab twice, once on Dec. 30 before the alleged Ellsworth armed robbery attempt and again Monday afternoon. She said she called police Dec. 30 to complain that the vehicle was speeding in Harrington, and then saw it again in Harrington on Monday. She said she called police Monday and followed the vehicle west to Cherryfield and then onto Route 182 before it sped away.
The woman said she couldn’t believe she saw the same vehicle with the same license plate 11 days after the robbery attempt, when the vehicle and plate number had been widely reported in local media accounts.
“If it was me and I was doing all of this, I would have at least changed the [license] plate,” the woman said.