A 35-year-old Fort Fairfield man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly stole three pickup trucks and led police on a dangerous high-speed chase in one of them that ended in downtown Houlton about 10 a.m., Maine State Police said.

The driver of the pickup, Ryan Young, and a passenger, 27-year-old Ashley Theriault of Caribou, both face multiple charges.

The chain of events began about 8 a.m., when a Monticello resident called police to report his truck was stolen. The caller said a man had come to his home looking for gasoline, but the resident turned him away because he did not have any. A short time later, his white Ford F350 was gone.

Police were called again before 9 a.m. for a report of a different stolen pickup truck, this time on Fletcher Road in Monticello.

At 9:12 a.m., a Houlton police officer spotted the second stolen truck, a 2007 dark-colored GMC Sierra, being operated erratically. Police tried to stop the driver but he refused to pull over and headed south from Monticello on Route 1 before exiting onto Interstate 95 south.

State police took over the chase near Oakfield and tried to stop the truck. Young continued fleeing despite a flat front tire, reaching speeds of roughly 98 mph, according to state police.


After the tire collapsed, Young continued to drive on the metal wheel rim. In at least two places during the chase, sparks from the rims grinding against the pavement started small grass fires.

Near Island Falls, the driver exited the highway and turned back toward Houlton on Route 2. At one point the truck veered sharply toward an oncoming police cruiser, nearly crashing into it head-on.

As the truck neared Houlton, it slammed into the back of another vehicle, sending 85-year-old Julia Watson of Houlton to the hospital with minor injuries.

Finally on Court Street in Houlton, a state trooper used his cruiser to force the fleeing vehicle into a controlled spin. When the truck came to a stop, Young leapt out but was soon apprehended.

He was charged with theft, violation of conditions of release, driving to endanger, reckless conduct and operating after suspension. More charges are expected, according to state police. Theriault was charged with theft and violation of conditions of release, according to state police.

The F350 truck stolen from Monticello earlier in the morning was recovered by Aroostook County sheriff’s deputies in a small body of water near Fletcher Road in Monticello. Also dumped at the same location was a third pickup, a 2005 GMC, which had its registration and vehicle identification number plates removed. Police later determined that the 2005 GMC was previously stolen in Presque Isle.


Both Young and Theriault were treated for minor injuries at Houlton Regional Hospital before being taken to the Aroostook County Jail.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident, said state police Lt. Brian Harris. In addition to state and Houlton police, officers from the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Maine Forestry Service responded to the chase, Harris said.

There was no indication of whether Young was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the vehicle thefts, Harris said.

One of the trucks, the 2007 GMC Sierra, was a total loss, Harris said, and one of the other trucks sustained water damage when it was dumped in the swamp.

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