LITCHFIELD — A Lewiston man was arrested early Wednesday, accused of driving a stolen truck through the door of a store before charging into the business with a handgun.
Brooks Noddin, 26, was arrested after a car chase with police. He was charged with eluding police, driving to endanger, driving after suspension and theft.
Police said more charges are likely as they continue to investigate the late-Tuesday heist.
At about 11:40 p.m. Tuesday, Maine State Police went to Gowell’s Shop ‘n Save in response to a business alarm. When troopers arrived, they found that the front door of the business had been driven through with a vehicle, police said.
“Through surveillance footage, a suspect vehicle was identified as a vehicle from Industrial Roofing in Lewiston,” said William Gagne, chief deputy of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department. “The video showed a male entering the store with a handgun in his hand.”
At that point in the investigation, Noddin was still at large.
State police went to the roofing business in Lewiston and discovered the truck had been driven through a gate and stolen. The business owners were able to provide a license plate of the stolen vehicle and it was broadcast to Maine law enforcement agencies.
“At approximately 4 a.m.,” Gagne wrote in a news release, “Deputy Victor Barr of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office was on patrol traveling north on Center Street in Auburn when he noticed a truck traveling south that was bearing a commercial license plate. Deputy Barr watched the vehicle turn into the parking lot of Rowe Ford which was closed. Deputy Barr decided to investigate further and as he got closer he saw that the tailgate was clearly marked as Industrial Roofing and recognized this vehicle as the one stolen from Lewiston and used in the crime in Litchfield.
“The truck started to accelerate as Deputy Barr got closer,” Gagne continued, “and the deputy turned on his emergency light and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The truck sped off and a high speed ensued through Auburn into Minot. The driver of the stolen vehicle lost control on Route 119 and went off the roadway where it struck a large rock and hit several trees.”
The driver left the vehicle and fled on foot into the woods, according to the release. Officers from the Auburn and Mechanic Falls police departments arrived as did Deputy Jon Guay and his K-9, Bosco. Bosco tracked the suspect and found him in the woods lying in the snow.
Noddin suffered injuries that were not life-threatening as a result of the crash, police said, and was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where he remained Wednesday evening.
Noddin has a criminal history in the Lewiston area, including thefts, burglaries and at least one arrest for armed robbery at a Lisbon store.
He was also charged in 2010 with stealing his grandmother’s car and leading police on an hours-long chase.
Officials said Noddins had been released from prison at the start of the year.
Brooks Noddin in a 2010 mugshot. (Sun Journal file photo)