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PORTSMOUTH,NH — Two men were charged in an attempted theft at a supermarket, with one showing a knife to employees who attempted to stop them, police said.
Police said that about 8 p.m. on Tuesday, employees from the Market Basket on Lafayette Road attempted to detain a pair of shoplifters. Shortly after, suspect Martin Montgomery took out a knife and both suspects fled from the scene.
Officer Scott Pearl and his K-9 Wess were in the area and caught up with and held both suspects in a nearby parking lot until backup units arrived.
Montgomery, 33, of 26 Maplewood St., Dover, was charged with attempted theft and armed robbery. Steven Morin, 41, of 340 Lafayette Road, Apt. 111, Hampton, was charged with attempted theft and being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.
There were no injuries reported in the incident.
Tuesday night’s theft attempt marked at least the third time this year employees at the Lafayette Road store have detained or attempted to detain theft suspects. In June, a 19-year-old Augusta, Maine, man and a 16-year-old were tackled and detained by store employees after they allegedly tried to leave the store with stolen merchandise. In February, employees stopped three alleged thieves who were trying to leave the store with baby formula and alcohol, holding them until police arrived.
“We certainly don’t encourage employees to get physically confrontational with suspects, but they have the legal right to do so,” said Portsmouth Police Lt. Dante Puopolo.
Puopolo said Montgomery refused the services of a bail commissioner and will be arraigned at Portsmouth District Court Wednesday morning. Morin had not yet gone through the bail process, Puopolo said.
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