Two held in Lewiston bank robbery

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LEWISTON — A man and woman were in police custody Wednesday night charged with robbing a Sabattus Street bank.

The suspects, 29-year-old Paul Sans and 30-year-old Maria Mattson, both of Westbrook, were charged with robbery.

The pair was arrested in Windham roughly an hour after the 3:30 p.m. heist at Auburn Savings at Sabattus and Orange streets in Lewiston.

Both suspects were being held at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland as federal investigators prepared to join the probe. Police said Sans and Mattson are being investigated as possible suspects in other robberies around the state.

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One of the suspects walked into the Sabattus Street bank, displayed a gun and demanded money, according to Lewiston police Lt. Marc Robitaille. No shots were fired and the suspect fled the bank and rode away in a waiting car.

A witness was able to describe the car to police. As they fled down Orange Street, one of the suspects threw a dye pack from the car, police said.

Dye packs are often bundled with cash by banks for robberies to help investigators identify the culprits. The radio-controlled devices can explode and spray permanent red dye shortly after a robbery.

Lewiston police put out a bulletin, advising other departments to be on the lookout for the suspect’s car, a white Chevrolet Lumina. A short time later, police in Windham spotted the vehicle on Route 202. They stopped the car and ordered the suspects out at gunpoint.

Windham police are investigating whether Sans and Mattson might be linked to a bank robbery in that city last week. The FBI is also expected to join the investigation.

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