Jeffrey Lavery Courtesy Photo/York County Jail

ALFRED — A New Hampshire man charged with forcing his way into homes, stealing cars, assaulting people and then trying to escape from a police booking room after being arrested was ordered held at York County Jail in Alfred, in lieu of $101,000 cash bail.

Jeffrey Lavery, 34, of Harrisville, New Hampshire, currently faces 14 charges, a combination of felony and misdemeanor counts, in connection with a series of events that began in Old Orchard Beach on June 9, continued into Saco and ended in Wells, where he was arrested.

He made a video appearance at York County Superior Court in Alfred on Friday, June 11, where bail was set at $50,000 in connection with alleged offenses in Old Orchard Beach and $50,000 in connection with the Saco offenses. All of the counts from Wells are misdemeanors; a York District Court judge set $1,000 bail for those alleged offenses.

In the first incident, police said Lavery knocked on the door of a Saco Avenue home in Old Orchard Beach, forced his way in and took car keys belonging to the homeowner. A 9-year-old boy struggled with the suspect outside and the man ran away.

Those incidents at shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9 were the beginning of a spree that involved Lavery allegedly assaulting vehicle owners in attempts to steal their cars, crashing a vehicle at 100 m.p.h. in Wells, and jumping in front of a moving vehicle in an attempt to steal it. Later, police in Wells said he tried to escape a police booking room before being taken to York County Jail in Alfred.

Following the Saco Avenue incident, police say Lavery assaulted a man on Evergreen Avenue while trying to steal his motor scooter, and then confronted a couple on Atlantic Avenue, took their keys and drove away in their car.

In Saco, Lavery allegedly fought with the owner of another car after cutting the driver off and forcing him from the vehicle. That incident played out on Portland Road (Route 1), in the vicinity of  Patriot Subaru.

“The suspect attempted to flee in the second stolen vehicle, however the owner was able to fight off the assailant and pull them from their vehicle,” said Saco Deputy Police Chief Corey Huntress. The suspect then got back into the vehicle he had allegedly stolen earlier in Old Orchard Beach, and sped away.

Twenty miles away in Wells, police responded to what they described as a high-speed crash on the Maine Turnpike, where the suspect got out of the vehicle and ran into the woods. He allegedly tried to get car keys from a woman, police said, then broke into an auto repair business, looking for car keys. Following his arrest, Wells Police said Lavery attempted to flee from the booking room of the police department.

Police in Old Orchard Beach have said the case remains under investigation. Capt. David Hemingway said they’re looking into what may have prompted the spree.

Lavery is charged with two counts of Class A robbery, two counts of misdemeanor assault and two counts of misdemeanor theft in Old Orchard Beach, Class A robbery and two counts of Class C reckless conduct, plus failing to notify police of a motor vehicle accident, a misdemeanor, in Saco. Charges in Wells include two counts of criminal mischief, obstructing government administration and refusing to submit to arrest, all misdemeanors.

If he is released on bail, Lavery is to refrain from using alcohol or illegal drugs, may be searched and tested, and is not to possess dangerous weapons. As well, he is to have no contact with a number of individuals. He is not allowed to be on Atlantic Avenue, Evergreen Avenue or Saco Avenue in Old Orchard Beach.

Class A felonies carry a maximum prison term of 30 years, upon conviction. Class C crimes, a maximum of five years.

His court appearance on June 11 was the beginning of the process. When someone is charged with a felony, the York County District Attorney reviews the information and presents a case to a grand jury, which decides whether to issue an indictment. A court appearance follows, where a suspect enters a plea.

Lavery’s next court date is currently set for in Oct. 11 at York County Superior Court in Alfred.

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