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Manchester Police arrest woman for store robbery

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In a statement released Monday, Manchester Police reported that a woman who threatened to blow up Tedeschi’s Food Mart at 245 Maple Street was arrested on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Police said Loretta Mearls, 50, of Manchester, is charged with the felony, Robbery and the misdemeanor, False Report to Law Enforcement after a review of surveillance video confirmed it was Mearls who had robbed the store.

Recounting the incident, police stated that at about 9:30 p.m., Manchester Police officers responded to Tedeschi’s Food Mart for a report of a robbery. Upon arrival, Officer Derek Cataldo met with the clerk who reported that a woman had entered the store and ultimately demanded money, implying she was armed.

The clerk told police the woman had engaged him in friendly conversation at the counter as she proceeded to snack on merchandise. The conversation ended when the woman announced she was robbing the store and demanded money indicating she would “blow the place up” if the clerk did not comply. The clerk surrendered some cash to the woman who left on foot, but was seen across the plaza from Tedeschi’s entering Pizza Express.

Police confirmed with Pizza Express employees that the woman had entered the restaurant, but had since left. In checking the neighboring American Legion Hall, Officers Cataldo and Joe Ryan encountered a woman walking out of the door who matched the suspect’s description and had cash bulging from her pocket and purse.

After a review of surveillance video confirmed it was Mearls who had robbed the store, she was arrested. She initially provided a false name to police, but was ultimately identified as Loretta Mearls, resulting in the False Report to Law Enforcement charge.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Mearls was arraigned Monday in the Circuit Court – Manchester District Division where Mearls could enter no plea to a felony robbery charge. Therefore, a probable cause hearing was set for Jan. 21. Trial on the misdemeanor charge was set for Feb. 5, the Union Leader stated.

Police prosecutor Carissa Pelletier requested $5,000 cash or surety bail, noting Mearls has open cases in other jurisdictions. Judge William Lyons set bail at the requested amount, with conditions that included completing the booking process at the Manchester Police Department, the Union Leader said.

Source: Manchester Police Department

New Hampshire Union Leader

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