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PARIS — Several law enforcement agencies were searching late Tuesday for two people believed to have burglarized a home in Oxford and to have taken a 9 mm handgun and ammunition.
According to Paris Police Chief David Verrier, two suspects robbed a house on Robinson Hill Road in Oxford early Tuesday afternoon before fleeing in a van. A neighbor called police when he saw two people loading items from the house into the vehicle.
Police began searching for the van. When officers saw it in Paris and gave chase, the van crashed into a tree at the corner of Paris Hill Road and Hooper Ledge Road in Paris. The suspects fled across a nearby yard and into the woods.
Lt. Michael Ward of the Oxford Police Department said he identified items in the crashed van as belonging to the homeowner based on her description.
Ward credited Oxford County dispatchers with helping police coordinate and locate the van. Ward declined to give the address of the house that was robbed, but he said it was near the Mechanic Falls line.
One of the suspects is Scott Bowie, 35, of Oxford, Verrier said. The gender of the other suspect was unknown, he said.
Tracking dogs from the Maine Warden Service and the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office were tracking the suspects, who are believed to have run into the Cornwall Nature Preserve.
According to James Miclon of the Regional Communication Center, the county notified residents to call the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department at 207-743-9554 if they saw two people on foot. One was wearing a red or orange shirt, he said.
Verrier confirmed that the pair were likely armed; the handgun and ammunition missing from the house were not found in the van.
Verrier said that in addition to the Paris, Oxford and Norway police departments, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police, the Warden Service and the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office were helping in the search.
Bowie previously has been charged and convicted of burglary, theft, drug trafficking, assault and other crimes several times.
On July 29, 2010, Bowie was charged with Class A robbery and Class B burglary, as well as domestic violence assault, obstructing the report of a crime and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. Those charges are still pending.
In August, he was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a scheduled drug and violating condition of release, for which he spent 48 hours in jail.
In June 2000, Bowie was convicted of assault and assault on an emergency medical care provider, a Class C offense. He was sentenced to four years in jail.
In May 1996, Bowie was convicted of aggravated trafficking or furnishing drugs and was sentenced to a year, plus probation. In 1994, he was convicted of burglary and was sentenced to eight months.
As of August 2010, Bowie’s legal address was 86 Fore St. in Oxford.