AUBURN – Police lost a game of hide-and-seek along Lake Auburn on Friday to a man they said was acting suspiciously.
Officer Barry Schmieks, responding to a call of a suspicious person along Surrey Lane, attempted to talk to the man, who was described as in his early 20s, with short, dark hair and wearing a white T-shirt and tan khaki pants.
The man fled, first on his bicycle and then on foot, running into the woods along the western shore of the lake. Police recovered the bicycle and a backpack at a dead end along Surrey Lane, just south of the Lake Auburn boat launch.
Officers tracked the man through the woods along the western shore of the lake. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department brought in a tracking dog to aid in the search. Meanwhile, officers in an Auburn Water District boat surveyed the shore from the water.
The man apparently continued to flee through the woods, popping out briefly in the Ja Lynne Trailer Park on Turner Street.
Linda Scott, who lives at 108 Wilson Hill Road, was hosting a garage sale when the stranger appeared in the woods behind her trailer.
“I heard him walking along, breaking brush in the back there, and then he just walked right into my yard,” Scott said. The sight of Scott and several garage sale patrons startled the man, who fled back toward Lake Auburn.
Police gave up the search about an hour later, but Schmieks said police had impounded the bicycle and the backpack.
“We’re pretty confident something was going on, but we’ve had no reports of a crime at this point,” Schmieks said.