A Skowhegan man faces several charges after he stole a vehicle before swapping it out for another, led a deputy on a brief chase in Somerset County and then trespassed at a nearby residence, according to officials.

Micheal M. Thomas, 26, was charged Thursday with operating after suspension as a habitual offender, theft by unauthorized taking, eluding a police officer, failure to stop, driving to endanger and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

The series of incidents began at about 7:30 a.m. in Concord, according to Somerset County Chief Deputy Michael Mitchell. He said a resident of Jackson Pond Road reported her 2002 Ford pickup truck was missing.

Before a deputy arrived at her house, the owner of the pickup contacted a dispatcher to say she had located her truck, which she was following.

“She didn’t know who the driver of the truck was, but she was following him,” Mitchell said. “(Thomas) pulled off near a driveway and into a ditch, got out of the vehicle armed with a handgun and walked up a driveway to (a different) residence.”

Mitchell said Thomas took another car, a Buick sedan, although it was not clear Thursday if Thomas had permission to use that car.

“This is still under investigation,” Mitchell said. “Thomas is likely associated with the people that had the (Buick sedan). The likelihood of them pursuing charges? We don’t know at this point. Possibly it could happen, but deputies are more inclined to think that’s not the case.”

The victim said she watched Thomas leave in the sedan, and when she returned to her driveway, she described the vehicle to a deputy. The deputy said had just seen the car, so he left and tried to locate the Buick, according to Mitchell.

Mitchell said Deputy Michael Wyman found the vehicle and saw Thomas driving at high speed on Jackson Pond Road. When Wyman turned on his flashing lights and siren, Thomas reportedly increased his speed, drove erratically in the oncoming lane and threw a 9mm handgun out a passenger-side window.

The chase traveled north on Burt Berry Road, although Wyman lost the vehicle for a short time. He then found it, unoccupied, at an empty parking lot on Murray Street in Bingham.

Thomas was later found trespassing at a nearby residence and arrested, Mitchell said.

Thomas was arrested shortly after 9:30 a.m. Arrest records show he was taken to the Somerset County Jail in Madison.

Mitchell said Thomas remained at the jail Thursday afternoon, his bail set at $10,000.

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