A Wilton woman was arrested Saturday after allegedly stealing a car with three young children inside and leading police on a 15-mile chase in western Maine.

The Androscoggin Country Sheriff’s Office said Shannon Lee Dupree, 42, stole the car from a convenience store on Route 4 in Livermore following an unrelated dispute nearby. The vehicle was eventually stopped by a tire-deflating device and the children were not injured.

Shannon Dupree Androscoggin County Jail photo

Dupree was charged with theft, endangering children and operating under the influence, among other crimes.

Deputies were called to a home on Butter Hill Road in Livermore at 8:55 a.m. for a reported disturbance between a man and woman, and were told en route that the woman had left on foot in the direction of Brettun’s Variety, Chief Deputy William Gagne said in a news release.

When a deputy arrived at the store and gas station minutes latter, he was flagged down by a man who reported his black 2010 Jeep Wrangler, with his three children inside, had been stolen while he was inside paying for gas. Deputies put out an alert for all law enforcement to be on the lookout for the vehicle. It was seen heading north on Route 4 in Livermore Falls at 9 a.m. by a Livermore Falls police officer, but he was unable to get the vehicle to stop, according to Gagne.

Sheriff’s deputies and police officers from Livermore Falls and Jay pursued the vehicle to North Jay, where Maine State Police officers deployed a tire-deflating device on Route 4 to try and stop it. The vehicle hit the device, then turned onto a dead-end residential street and crashed into a home and garage, Gagne said.

Dupree was arrested at the scene at 9:15 a.m., Gagne said. The children were quickly reunited with their father.

Dupree was identified as the woman involved in the initial disturbance call in Livermore. In an email Gagne said he did not have additional information to share about the nature of the dispute.  The man whose vehicle was stolen was not involved in the reported disturbance, Gagne added.

Dupree was charged by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office with three counts of criminal restraint and a count of theft. The Livermore Falls Police Department charged her with eluding, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, driving to endanger, operating under the influence of drugs, and operating after suspension.

Dupree is being held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on $10,000 cash bail.

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