Washburn man arrested on theft charge after foot chase in Presque Isle

Posted Jan. 15, 2014, at 3:11 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Washburn man who allegedly was hoping to make it home from a Sears store without paying for a laptop computer instead ended up in handcuffs after a rigorous foot chase with a police officer on Tuesday.

The incident happened in the late afternoon at the Sears store in The Aroostook Centre Mall when Larry Easler, 37, was shopping, Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin said Wednesday.

Irwin said he was not sure whether Easler garnered the attention of store employees while he was shopping or just as he was leaving, but the staffers said they saw him leaving with the laptop without paying and called police.

Officer Joey Seeley and Officer Kaitlyn McLaughlin were at a nearby Marden’s store and responded to the call as Easler was running through the Marden’s parking lot.

Seeley jumped out of the car, according to Irwin, and began chasing Easler and ordered him to stop.

As the two men ran through several streets and parking lots, Seeley used his police radio to stay in communication with McLaughlin, who was following in the police car.

“Eventually, Easler just gave up,” Irwin said. “He’d already ditched the computer in a little crevice near Burger King, and we were able to find that.”

He was charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer.

Easler has a criminal history. He was indicted for unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs in March 2012 and he spent time in jail in 2003 for burglary of motor vehicle, theft by unauthorized taking, and criminal mischief. He also has prior convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia and littering.

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