Two New Hampshire men were taken into custody Saturday following a bank robbery in Lewiston that led to a high-speed chase and a manhunt through the woods of Saco.

Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said police arrested Neil West, 64, and Joseph Richards, 46, in connection with the armed robbery of a TD Bank on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. The robbery occurred about 9 a.m. Saturday.

McCausland and an FBI spokeswoman did not know the hometowns of the New Hampshire suspects.

McCausland said police spotted West and Richards in a minivan on the Maine Turnpike and engaged in a brief, high-speed chase, which ended in Saco.

According to WCSH-TV, the minivan came to an abrupt halt on the front lawn of Saco resident Bethany Savage. She told the Portland station that two men with guns got out of the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.

“It was a surprise to see a van come careening up my front yard, and a man with a gun get out. It’s not every Saturday morning,” Savage told the station. “I saw them going down the street, and I thought, ‘That’s not good, because it’s a dead-end street.’ ”


Neighbor Tim Milton told WCSH that he was watching a TV news report about the robbery when he heard “crashing and smashing” noises coming from outside his home.

“The vehicle wound up crashing over here, and then law enforcement just showed up,” he told the station. “There must have been 20 cars out here.”

Police chased the two men through several backyards. West was apprehended quickly, McCausland said, while Richards fled into a wooded area.

State police, along with Lewiston, Saco and Old Orchard Beach police and the FBI, found and arrested Richards after searching the woods for about an hour, McCausland said. No one was hurt during the robbery of subsequent chase, police said.

McCausland said the investigation was handed over to the FBI.

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