AUGUSTA — A former West Gardiner woman out on bail on robbery and theft charges was back behind bars Saturday, charged with drunken driving in Augusta.

Cynthia B. Chepke, 56, now of Augusta, was indicted Friday by a grand jury in Kennebec County in connection with the Jan. 27 robbery of Circle K gas station/convenience store in Farmingdale.

After the robbery, investigators used a tracking dog to follow a trail of high-heeled boot prints in the snow, finding a discarded black jacket in a Dumpster near a Maine Avenue parking lot, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court.

DNA and surveillance photos were later matched to Chepke, according to the affidavit.
She was freed on $1,000 bail on those charges.

On Saturday, Augusta police received a call at 5:42 p.m. about a red minivan coming north from Randolph and weaving all over the road and the driver drinking some unknown substance.

Police were told the driver, later identified as Chepke, was using the turning lane to pass other vehicles.

An affidavit filed in court by Augusta police Officer Jesse Brann said Chepke abruptly turned into the parking lot of Rite Aid after seeing the cruiser.

“She drove through the parking lot at a high rate of speed and struck the curb before trying to exit the car,” Brann wrote.

He said he observed the odor of intoxicants on her, and she admitted to having one alcoholic drink earlier.

Brann said Chepke failed field sobriety tests and her blood alcohol level tested at 0.17, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Maine.

A judge on Monday set $750 bail on Chepke’s new charges of operating under the influence and violating conditions of release.

Chepke remained in Kennebec County jail late Monday afternoon.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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