By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — PEABODY — A car theft suspect out of Rowley eluded capture on Route 1 yesterday afternoon despite a state police manhunt that involved a helicopter, K-9 units and numerous officers.
The suspect — described as a white man with a red baseball hat and a gray hooded sweatshirt — stole a blue pickup truck with a bright yellow plow on it in Rowley earlier in the day, police said.
A trooper said the theft was seen by a homeowner who called police, and that the pursuit began just minutes after the theft.
The suspect led police on a chase down to Interstate 95 south in Danvers, then entered Peabody and ditched the vehicle in a residential area on Cardigan Road — presumably continuing on foot.
Police spent hours combing through the area of Winona Street, Pine Street and Route 1, but they were unable to locate the suspect.
The search was called off around 1:30 p.m.