CANAAN — Two people who authorities say stole an SUV in Canaan were arrested a day later and became combative when sheriff’s deputies took them into custody, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Jeffrey Bell Courtesy photo

The events began Friday when a Jeep Wrangler, with its keys left inside, was reported stolen on Lake George Drive, according to sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell.

A Skowhegan police officer that evening spotted the Jeep, which was identifiable by a push bumper on its front, and attempted to stop it. But the driver fled into Norridgewock and then over to Fairfield before returning to Norridgewock. The Jeep traveled onto a railroad bed and ended up in a ditch. The two people in the SUV fled on foot and were not found, Mitchell said.

As the investigation developed, a man and a woman were identified as suspects in the case and they were spotted by an off-duty sheriff’s sergeant the following day walking on Main Street in Canaan. Mitchell identified the pair as 36-year-old Jeffrey Bell and 34-year-old Stephenie Freeman. He described both as transients who often stayed at different addresses in Skowhegan.

Stephenie Freeman Courtesy photo

An on-duty sheriff’s deputy arrived to apprehend the couple but both resisted arrest, Mitchell said. At one point, handcuffs had been placed on Freeman but she tried to run from the deputy, who tracked her down a short time later.

Both are facing several charges, including refusing to submit to arrest, and they previously had drug-related charges filed against them. Freeman, for instance, was charged last year with aggravated trafficking in drugs, Mitchell said.

Bell posted bond and is no longer being held but Freeman continued to be held without bail Tuesday in the Somerset County Jail. She has a court date scheduled for Nov. 8.

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