SKOWHEGAN — Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery in the parking lot of a union hall on U.S. Route 201 Tuesday night following a toy auction conducted by an area business earlier that night.

An employee was sitting in her car taking a break Saturday night when a man with a knife approached her car and demanded money from her.

The robbery and attempted theft at the United Steelworkers Local 9 Poulin-Turner Hall at 653 Waterville Road was reported at 10:38 p.m. on Tuesday. The robber was apparently “scared off” and no money was taken.

“A worker who was sitting in her car outside the hall was just taking a break when a male suspect approached with a knife and demanded money,” said Skowhegan Police Chief Ted Blais Wednesday. “It’s actually an armed robbery because the demand for the money was there. The theft would be an attempt, because it was not completed, but the robbery actually occurred because it fits all the elements of the crime.”

The victim ran the food concession in the hall, according to Eileen Dinan, who runs Bob’s Famous Auctions with her husband. The Dinans, of Litchfield, had left the building when the robbery happened.

“Her boyfriend was cleaning up in the hall, and she was just sitting in her vehicle,” Dinan said. “He came up upon her and was tapping on the window with the knife.”

The Dinans, who operate the Off Price Stores in Winthrop and Gardiner, run an auction weekly at the Skowhegan hall.

The call drew a heavy police response. Skowhegan and Fairfield police officers, Maine state troopers and Somerset County sheriff’s deputies were on the scene until after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The robber was described as a white male with a black mustache, 30-35 years old and wearing a camouflage hooded shirt, Blais said.

Sgt. Matt Casavant of Maine State Police Troop C Barracks in Skowhegan and his dog attempted to track the robber, but came up empty. Detective Hugh Landry, also of Troop C, completed a digital composite sketch of the robber based on a description given to police by the victim, Blais said.

The victim also described what she thought was a suspicious car at about the same time as the robbery. The car was a white sedan with blue tinted headlights and round tail lights.

Anyone with information on the suspect or the car is asked to contact the Skowhegan police by calling the Somerset County Regional Communications Center at 474-6386 or the Skowhegan police anonymous tip line at 474-6915.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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