Stolen car from Massachusetts ditched near Lebanon Middle School
LEBANON, NH - With a state police helicopter circling overhead and tracking dogs on the ground, police officers from across the region spent four hours searching the woods between the Lebanon Middle School and Exit 17 of Interstate 89 late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning for a would-be armed robber.
The ground search was called off at 2 a.m. after concluding, with the help of infrared cameras in the air, that no one appeared to be hiding and detectives began to turn their attention to the possibility that the robber might have gotten a ride out of the area.
Enfield Police Chief Richard Crate said the incidents began in his town around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when "Enfield Police were called to the Family Dollar store for an attempted armed robbery. A white male went into the building and said that he had a weapon," Crate recalled. "The clerk saw what she believed was the butt of a handgun. He said `Give me all the money, I don't want to have to shoot you.' She refused to give him the money. He then fled and we began our investigation."
"A short while later we had information from the Canaan Police that there was a suspicious person outside the Dollar General store in their town sitting in a black vehicle. Canaan Police got into a pursuit with that vehicle into Grafton but they stopped pursuing it due to speeds and the danger," Chief Crate continued.
"Then my officer observed the vehicle on Route 4 by Mickey's Roadside Cafe and pursued it into Lebanon where he went off the road here (at the intersection of the Dartmouth College Highway portion of Route 4 and Laplante Road) and then fled into the woods," Chief Crate said.
Enfield Police Chief Richard Crate directed search operations at the command post
"State police units have the area sort of cordoned off and the state police helicopter is enroute to help us search. They have night vision and a FLIR system (Forward-Looking Infra-Red). We hope will be able to locate him in the woods and bring this to an end," Chief Crate said.
Police believe the car was stolen in Worcester, Massachusetts on Monday from a dealer's lot
The stolen car sustained damage to the driver's side during the pursuits which hit speeds upwards of 90 mph Wednesday evening
The car was seized and towed shortly after midnight to an impound yard to be searched for evidence
Although the robber was wearing a surgical mask over his face when he confronted the clerk, investigators developed a potential lead on a suspect with ties to the Upper Valley and were working to try and find him as 3 a.m. approached Thursday morning.
Vermont News can be contacted at email@example.com