How did Lesko end up on Route 136?

  • Orange spraypaint marks the spot where Lane Lesko’s vehicle went off the road following a police chase last week. STAFF PHOTO BY BRANDON LATHAM

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, June 27, 2016 8:7PM

A picture of Michigan teen Lane Lesko’s activities prior to the deadly standoff with police on Route 136 last week is slowly coming into focus.

His journey began in the North Country, after Lesko, 19, was reported missing from a state park in northern New Hampshire around June 19, according to police reports.

Lesko was attending a camp program called Summit Achievement, which specializes in helping kids with mental or social challenges.

A little over a month into his stay with Summit Achievement, police say he escaped from a trip to Lake Umbagog.

When he was reported missing on June 20, Lesko was last seen at a campsite on Lake Umbagog in Cambridge, N.H. According to Maine State Police, he then stole a canoe, a pontoon boat and a truck to flee the remote camp region.

It was roughly 90 miles south, police say, that Lesko allegedly stole a car in South Portland, Maine, later that day.

According to South Portland Police’s Sgt. Steve Webster, Lesko entered an auto dealership of the Berlin City Auto Group at the Maine Mall under the pretense of wanting to test drive a Dodge Charger.

Webster said that Lesko then chose not to test drive but was given the keys anyway.

He drove the Charger off the lot and did not return. “He just got in and drove off,” said Webster.

Webster believes the sales representatives must have assumed Lesko changed his mind and wanted a test drive after all.

And police say it wasn’t the first time Lesko took a test drive at a car dealership. When he was 17, Lesko was charged in Michigan in connection with the theft of a Dodge Charger from a used car lot. Lesko allegedly grabbed the keys off the counter.

Webster says the vehicle was involved in a pursuit about 10 to 12 hours later in New Hampshire.

When asked if he knew in what town, he said it might have been Milford, but that he was unsure.

“Dispatch called me at three in the morning to tell me that the car had been recovered in New Hampshire,” he said.

A BMW matching the description of the vehicle recovered from the scene of the shooting was seen being driven erratically in Milford at about 9:30 a.m., near the Agway on Elm Street, according to eyewitness reports.

Jeff Strelzin, senior assistant Attorney General, said he could not comment, or confirm, any of Lesko’s activities prior to his death. New Hampshire State Police also declined to comment.

Calls to Lane Lesko’s mother, Patricia Lesko, were not returned by press time.