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Kay Jewelers robbed at gunpoint

This surveillance photo shows one of the three masked suspects who robbed the Kay Jewelers at Tanger Outlet Center Friday night. (Courtesy) (click for larger version)
November 09, 2011
TILTON — Police in Tilton responded to an armed robbery at Kay Jewelers in the Tanger Outlets plaza at 120 Laconia Rd. last Friday evening, when frightened employees and customers dialed 9-1-1 to report the crime.

Chief Robert Cormier said three men wearing full face Halloween masks based on the film "Scream," dressed in black hooded sweatshirts and jeans, burst through the door of the jewelry store at approximately 7:49 p.m.

One man, wielding a silver semi-automatic pistol, ordered store clerks and customers, including a 12-year-old girl, onto the floor and instructed them not to move. Doors to closets in the store were checked to make sure no one else was hiding inside the store, and the first suspect warned a clerk at close gunpoint not to trigger any alarms

The second and third suspects carried sacks along with them, and pulled out hammers with which they began to methodically smash display cases and remove the items inside. The armed suspect kept an eye on the people inside the store, and also kept track of time that had elapsed.

"He kept telling them to keep going, there was still more time," Cormier reported in a press release. "Once two minutes passed, the gunman told the other two suspects 'Let's go,' and the three fled on foot towards the woods behind the Irving gas station on Laconia Road."

Tilton Police quickly sent officers out into the woods around the plaza and along I-93 in an attempt to locate the suspects or their vehicle. They were assisted by N.H. State Police, officers from Sanbornton, Northfield, Belmont and a K-9 unit.

Cormier said the trio appeared to witnesses to be very calm and professional as they smashed the glass and gathered as much jewelry as they could. Attempts to break into a case containing diamonds were unsuccessful, but in an ominous warning as they left, the men said they would be back for the rest. This, Cormier said, has police concerned.

Estimates released last weekend placed the value of the stolen items at $206,498.96.

Police are still in search of the three suspects, who are considered armed and dangerous, and the FBI has been called in to assist. They are also reviewing other surveillance cameras at the outlet center and nearby businesses on the busy Route 3 corridor to see if any suspicious activity, either before or after the robbery, can be detected. Anyone who was in the vicinity of Kay Jewelers or traveling roads in the area on Nov. 4 and might have seen anything unusual is asked to contact the Tilton Police Department at 286-4442.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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