Trio arrested, police officer hurt in late-night foot chase

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LEWISTON — Two teens and an adult were arrested and a police officer was hurt during a late-night foot chase following a burglary spree on Martha Avenue.

Police said the trio was captured shortly after breaking into a house and stealing a purse belonging to a 67-year-old woman.

Just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to the area by a neighbor who reported seeing a group of young men breaking into cars along Martha Avenue, between Central and East avenues.

Several police officers converged on the neighborhood, arriving from all directions, police Lt. Michael McGonagle said.

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The officers spotted the suspects, who took off running, leading to a foot chase. One officer was hurt when he slammed into a trailer hitch at the back of a truck, suffering a wound that took six stitches to close, McGonagle said. 

Police cordoned off the area as they searched for the suspects, McGonagle said.

They closed in and captured the three young men, whom McGonagle said are familiar to police because of previous burglaries and mischief.

Police recovered the purse that had been stolen earlier in the night, McGonagle said. The suspects were arrested on charges of burglary and theft. The teens were taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. The adult, Joe Hastings, 19, was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail, where he was being held Wednesday night on charges of burglary, theft and violating conditions of release.

According to McGonagle, the arrests were possible thanks to the neighbor who called for help after spotting suspicious activity on the street.

“It’s good when people are paying attention,” the lieutenant said. “That really gives us a heads up when we’re responding to something like this.”

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