AUGUSTA, Maine — A local man is facing numerous criminal charges after he allegedly stole women’s purses and then tried to outrun the police.
The series of events that led to the arrest of Jed St. Hilaire, 34, of Augusta began shortly before noon on Saturday, when Augusta police were called to Walmart on Civic Center Drive for a report of a strong-arm robbery, Deputy Police Chief Jared Mills said in a news release.
When they arrived, officers were told that a man had taken a woman’s purse by force, Mills said. He said that the victim and witnesses were able to provide police descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle he left in.
Augusta Police attempted to locate the vehicle in the area. They also asked other Maine law enforcement agencies to be on the look out for the suspect and vehicle.
Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Augusta police were called to the Hannaford supermarket on Cony Street for another purse snatching involving a male suspect whose description matched that of the suspect in the earlier incident.
The suspect in that case reportedly left in the same vehicle used at Walmart.
Augusta police Officer Mathew Estes quickly located the vehicle and tried to stop it, but St. Hilaire refused to stop and led Augusta police officers on a chase through the city and onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 95.
Officers from the Maine State Police and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Augusta Police in apprehending St. Hilaire, who ditched the vehicle at milemarker 105 and fled the area on foot.
After a brief foot chase, St. Hilaire was arrested on charges of robbery, theft, driving to endanger, eluding police, passing a roadblock and criminal speeding.
A male passenger who was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest has not been charged in connection with the incident.