When the police are doing the right thing and pursuing real criminals who have victims, Free Keeniacs like our blogger JJ (and the editor of the Free Keene Press), are happy to help. Here's his story about how his efforts were instrumental in catching the dangerous crook who robbed the Apothecary at knifepoint:
By James B Schlessinger Jr
I was about to sit down and eat my freshly prepared meal when I heard a lady outside yell, “he has a knife.” I turned to the door and a moment later a woman was standing at the entrance announcing, “don’t come outside there is a guy with a knife.”
I exited the Subway and noticed crowd gathered somewhat semi-circle around the entrance of the next door shop, The Apothecary. I started to walk toward the door and a man in a mask burst out of the door. He was carrying a large kitchen knife and what looked like a tan wastebasket or bag. He ran straight to the alleyway next to the shop, I followed him down the length of the alley and into a parking lot. He had dropped his mask mid-way through the alley and his face was clearly visible bearing a distinct grey facial hair pattern. I saw him heading for a waiting vehicle and watched him climb in the front passenger seat of the SUV which contained a driver and perhaps one more in the back. I memorized the license plate and headed back to the shop.
At the shop I talked with the shop keeper and the witnesses inside and found that everyone was essentially unharmed and that the only damage was of property. Specifically the man was after Oxycontin. The shop keeper informed me that the police were on the way and that she had passed on the license plate number. I decided to go back to Subway and eat some of my sandwich.
Roughly five minutes later I returned to the store to check on the status of the police response. The shop keeper stated that the police had already captured the guy and were coming to the store. A few minutes later I went outside and a Keene Police Sergeant James Cemorelis arrived and started taking down names and phone numbers of the witnesses. I provided my information and was asked if I could identify the man if he was brought to the scene. A short while later a squad car pulled up containing the suspect who I positively identified as the robber.
I was carrying a firearm and at no time did I feel it was necessary to draw it. I don’t think anything I did was especially brave. I just ran after him and got the license plate number and the Keene police did the rest of the work. I do think that things went well, in that no one that I know of got hurt during the robbery or the arrest.
I want to thank the Keene Police Department for pursuing and capturing this violent criminal. This man’s victims undoubtedly extend the same gratitude.