FARMINGTON — Police are investigating three separate car thefts from early Monday morning that began in New Hampshire and currently have a suspect.

Det. Marc Bowering said that early Monday morning an officer from the University of Maine Farmington campus police attempted to stop a driver who was traveling at a high rate of speed. Bowering said the vehicle “took off on him,” but the officer later located the vehicle in a ditch on New Vineyard Road in New Vineyard. The car had New Hampshire license plates and was determined to have been stolen in New Hampshire.

Bowering said a wrecker was coming through the intersection of Route 27 and Fairbanks Road shortly thereafter, when the driver saw lights over on the embankment. It turns out this was a second car that had been stolen from a residence near the area where the New Hampshire car had been abandoned.

Bowering said it was likely the driver had left the New Hampshire car and stolen the New Vineyard car, again traveling at a high speed of rate before overturning the car on Fairbanks Road. The Sheriff’s Department attempted to track the suspect with canine units, but were unsuccessful.

A couple hours after that, an abandoned vehicle was reported on Temple Road. The car had no license plates, but officers were able to track it back through registration to a residence on Barlen Street, where the owner had reported the vehicle stolen.

Bowering said they believe the suspect is from New Hampshire, where the first car was stolen. From there, Bowering said the driver went to Livermore Falls, where he or she stole items from another car. The driver went off the road in New Vineyard, where a car that had its keys inside was stolen. After going airborne with that car, which Bowering said was totaled, the driver then got out of the overturned car and stole another vehicle with the keys inside.

While police do have a suspect, Bowering said the individual is not someone Farmington police have dealt with in the past. The New Hampshire car had minor fender damage. The second car was totaled, and the third car was not damaged.

Bowering said the canine units found several tracks, but were unable to locate anyone. He said they were just “hopscotching from a stolen vehicle to another stolen vehicle.”

Crews from state police, the Sheriff’s Department and campus police all helped in the investigation.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis