AUGUSTA — A suspect driving a stolen car pursued by police in two separate chases last week remained on the loose Tuesday, according to officials.

Police said they have a suspect whom they are not identifying. As of Tuesday, officers had not made an arrest related to the chases, one of which ended when officers decided it was not worth the risk to public safety.

The suspect was last seen driving a 2012 Toyota Yaris reported stolen in Rockland. Augusta Officer Simon Yorks spotted the car at about 3 p.m. Thursday as it was being driven erratically. The vehicle matched the description of one the Maine State Police had reported stolen.

Yorks sought to pull over the vehicle,  but the driver refused to stop and, instead, tried to elude the officer, police said.

The Augusta officer pursued the vehicle from Western Avenue to Interstate 95, where speeds reached 100 mph, and then onto Civic Center Drive, where the pursuit was ended before the suspect was stopped.

Chief Jared Mills of the Augusta Police Department said Yorks broke off the chase after it was determined the threat to public safety outweighed allowing the suspect, who continued to drive erratically, to flee.


The on-duty sergeant ordered Yorks to end the chase and the suspect fled.

“The operation of the suspect put the lives of the public at too much risk at that time to justify continuing,” Mills said.

At 7:57 p.m. Thursday, a deputy with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office spotted the stolen car on Water Street in Randolph. The suspect again did not stop and the deputy pursued him, with the stolen car proceeding onto Wiscasset Road in Pittston, then onto Turner Drive and Highland Park, a dead-end road. The suspect then ran into the woods, according to Lt. Chris Read of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

“Once the deputies caught up to the car, there was no one inside it,” Read said. “There was no crash. (He) just ran out of road and stopped. The suspect ran through the woods and stole another car that was in a driveway, unattended and running.”

That second vehicle, a 2006 Saturn Ion, has since been recovered.

In a memorandum to Augusta city councilors, City Manager William Bridgeo praised the Police Department’s procedures for handling such matters and for knowing when to end the chase.

“Modern police science teaches that police vehicle pursuits are one of the most important and challenging management issues departments deal with,” Bridgeo said. “I’m happy to say that our department comports itself according to these best practices.”

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