PITTSFIELD (AP) – A drug suspect who eluded capture in Maine and Colorado was finally collared Monday when he hopped into a car, cranked the engine and spun his wheels.

Jason Belmer, who’s accused of burying cocaine in his grandmother’s yard, would have done better on foot; he was apprehended while trying to steal the car, Police Chief Steven Emery said afterward.

“He jumped into the car and started it up and tried to drive away. His big downfall was they had been working on it and it was on jacks,” Emery said.

A police officer who was hot on the trail during a half-mile foot chase smashed the car window, subdued Belmer with pepper spray and took him into custody at about 9:15 a.m., the chief said.

Belmer, 25, of Corinna, had been on the lam since running into the woods after 8 pounds of cocaine was seized Aug. 19 from his grandmother’s property in Corinna.

A Colorado State Patrol trooper stopped a car in which Belmer was a passenger for speeding on Interstate 70 in eastern Colorado in early September. The driver, Melissa Carmack, 27, of Corinna, was taken into custody, but Belmer eluded capture by running into a cornfield.

Authorities believe Belmer then stole a flatbed pickup that was later found about 60 miles away in Kansas.

All of that running from the law came to an end when officers were alerted that he had returned to Maine and was staying in a local apartment. Pittsfield police quickly put the building under surveillance.

Alerted to the police presence, Belmer bolted out the front door, and Officer Rodney Minoty gave chase and caught him at the car.

Belmer had locked himself inside and was gunning the engine, but the car was going nowhere, Emery said. Belmer was taken to jail after being treated for a cut caused by the broken glass.

Belmer has a history of running away from law enforcement authorities.

He escaped from custody five years ago when he was facing burglary charges. He crashed through a window in a Maine courthouse and jumped off a bridge into the Sebasticook River. He was later found in his underwear on a sandbar.

Belmer’s latest case had drawn national attention. A crew from “America’s Most Wanted” came to Maine a couple of weeks ago to shoot an episode to be aired in November, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday.

“The one thing we are curious about is where he’s been since he fled the Colorado state trooper,” he said.



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.