FAIRFIELD — A suspected thief on a bicycle was caught Thursday after a brief pursuit and some help from bystanders, police said.

Carl Hunter, 18, a transient, was arrested on charges of burglary of a motor vehicle, theft and a probation hold, after allegedly stealing a purse during a noontime outing with his 33-year-old father.

At 12:12 Thursday, police received a 911 call from a woman whose purse was taken from her car during a quick stop inside Cumberland Farms on Main Street. The woman said she believed two men were involved because she saw them eyeing her car while she was shopping, police said. One of them also whistled at her as she went into the store, so she was able to provide police with a detailed description.

A few minutes later, as police searched for the thieves, a second caller to 911 reported a motor vehicle burglary in progress at Rite Aid on Main Street. Officer Shanna Blodgett turned on her lights, rushed to the scene and pursued Hunter after he pedaled south on a yellow bicycle.

Blodgett said she pulled alongside Hunter and asked him to pull over, but he refused, instead turning onto a lawn and reversing direction. He was stopped by another officer on Park Street while Blodgett questioned Hunter’s father, who wasn’t charged.

During Hunter’s brief flight, a bystander tailed Hunter and told police he saw him stash a purse in a trash receptacle near Main Street, where it was found by police. Nothing was stolen during the second incident at Rite Aid, Blodgett said.

Hunter was taken to Somerset County Jail. He is scheduled to appear Sept. 19 in Skowhegan District Court.

Hunter was on probation for assaulting an officer, Blodgett said. Twice this year, he was arrested on warrants, according to newspaper archives.

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.