Jeffrey T. Lavery York County Jail Photo

Jeffrey T. Lavery is alleged to have forced his way into an Old Orchard Beach home, struggled with a male — later identified as a 9-year-old boy — when he attempted to steal the homeowner’s car and then ran away when he couldn’t. Then, he allegedly assaulted a man on Evergreen Avenue while trying to steal his motor scooter.

In the first incident, police said Lavery knocked on the door of the Saco Avenue home, forced his way in and took car keys belonging to the homeowner. A 9-year-old boy struggled with the suspect outside and he ran away.

But those incidents at shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9 were just the beginning of a saga involving Lavery allegedly tousling with vehicle owners in attempts to steal their cars, crashing a vehicle at 100 m.p.h. in Wells, and allegedly jumping in front of a moving vehicle in an attempt to steal it. Later, police in Wells said he allegedly tried to escape a police booking room before being taken to York County Jail in Alfred.

After the motor scooter incident, there was a another car theft attempt in Old Orchard Beach.

“A short time later a third incident was reported on Atlantic Avenue in which the male subject confronted a male and female at (a) residence and ultimately took the keys for a vehicle belonging to the couple,” Old Orchard Beach Capt. David Hemingway said, adding  that the suspect took the car and drove away.

After the events in Old Orchard Beach, Saco Police said Lavery, 34, of Harrisville, New Hampshire, which is an estimated 132 miles from Old Orchard Beach, allegedly fought with the owner of another car in the roadway after cutting the driver off and forcing him from the  vehicle.

“The suspect attempted to flee in the second stolen vehicle, however the owner was able to fight off the assailant and pull them from their vehicle,” said Saco Deputy Police Chief Corey Huntress.

That attempt was filmed by NewsCenter Maine, according to the Portland Press Herald, which provided a link to the television station’s video: https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/crime/man-fights-off-attempted-car-theft-in-saco/97-fc75dc5f-0458-464c-b4fb-a8dda24bf2fa

The suspect then got back into the vehicle he had stolen earlier in Old Orchard Beach, and sped away.

The scenario that played out in Old Orchard Beach and in Saco ended 20 miles away in Wells, when police there responded to the report of a high speed, 100 m.p.h. crash on the Maine Turnpike.

“There was a report (the suspect) got out and ran into the woods,” said Wells Police Captain Gerald Congdon. “He tried to get keys from a woman to use her car (and)  broke into a garage (business) looking for keys to steal another car.”

Congdon said the suspect allegedly “jumped in front of a passing vehicle, making them stop and attempted to hi-jack the car. He was chased all around the neighborhood until finally caught” by police.

Maine State Police brought Lavery to the police station, there he was processed  by Wells Police and later taken to York County Jail, Congdon said.

“He wasn’t the most cooperative, and actually attempted escape from our booking room,” said Congdon.

Lavery was held initially on $80,000 cash bail, pending a first court appearance, according to a York County Jail intake officer.

He faces charges of two counts of robbery and unauthorized use of a vehicle in connection with the Old Orchard Beach incidents; and with robbery in connection with the Saco incidents. Additional charges are expected in these communities and in Wells. Police say the investigation continues.

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