AUGUSTA — A 14-mile chase that roared through Augusta city streets Saturday evening and along Interstate 95 ended with the arrest in West Gardiner of the alleged driver, a suspect in two robberies, according to police.

Augusta police identified the suspect as Jed St. Hilaire, 34, of Augusta, charged with robbery, theft, driving to endanger, eluding, passing a roadblock and criminal speed.

The first two charges stem from incidents that occurred earlier in the day. Augusta police responded at 11:43 a.m. to a complaint at Walmart, on the north end of the city, in which a man took a woman’s purse by force, city police said in a news release.

At 4:36 p.m., police responded to a report of a similar incident at the Hannaford supermarket parking lot, on the city’s east side. Witnesses in each incident described the vehicle in which the man fled.

The chase began at 6:01 p.m. when Augusta police tried to stop the car, a Maine-registered Toyota Echo, which had two men in it, near the Kenebec County jail on State Street in Augusta, said Maine State Police Trooper Lee Vanadestine.

The driver fled north on State Street, Mount Vernon Avenue and Civic Center Drive at speeds reaching 70 mph, he said, then stopped near the Summerhaven Road, reversed direction and entered Interstate 95 at exit 112, heading south with police still in pursuit.

Once on the interstate, the fleeing driver tried to leave it at exit 109B, which steers traffic onto Western Avenue’s westbound lanes, but Vanadestine’s police cruiser was blocking the exit ramp, the trooper said.

“They almost hit me, at the exit, from behind,” he said.

The Toyota then veered back onto I-95 in the midst of traffic. Weaving in and out around other vehicles, the Toyota continued south at up to 110 mph, prompting some other drivers to pull into the breakdown lane, he said.

At mile 105 in West Gardiner, the driver stopped at a paved turn-around spot for emergency vehicles, crossed over to the northbound lanes and headed south, almost striking an approaching car head-on, Vanadestine said. Then the Toyota went into a ditch and stopped, and St. Hilaire tried to flee on foot, whereupon police arrested him, Augusta police said.

Vanadestine said police also found bags of marijuana in the car.

Augusta police said the passenger was still in the car when the arrest occurred, and that no charges are pending against him.

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