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Alton man who allegedly went on crime spree is arrested

Union Leader Correspondent

March 02. 2012 12:53PM

WOLFEBORO - An Alton man who allegedly went on a crime spree early Tuesday morning has been arrested near the Canadian border by Vermont State Police.

Joshua Dearnley, 27, was found walking in woods in close proximity to the Canadian border early Friday morning, according to Wolfeboro Police Detective Guy Maloney.

Local police issued a bulletin to police departments around the country seeking Dearnley's arrest on Wednesday. Dearnley fled his Alton home and was thought to be headed for Tilton, but police later received information that he was headed toward the Canadian border.

'We're not sure how he got as far as he did, he seems to have been on foot most of the time, and whether he was hitchhiking or what, he seems to have had some help from a motor vehicle,' Maloney said.

Arrest warrants were issued for Dearnley Wednesday for burglary, criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. More charges will likely be filed against him, Maloney said.

Police said his crime spree began at a residence on North Line Road in Wolfeboro at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The homeowner reported seeing an intruder and then said he saw the man fleeing from his house.

When they arrived at the home, police found footprints in the snow leading from the house to North Line Road. Soon after, officers found a state Department of Transportation vehicle parked a few hundred feet away. The state vehicle was reported stolen from the Strafford area, Maloney said.

The footprints at the residence matched the footprints near the vehicle, he said. For three hours after the reported burglary, police said they followed Dearnley's footprints through several business parking lots and across the properties of numerous local residents.

Officers found another residence on Allen Road that had been illegally entered, but the suspect had fled. Officers ended that search at 5 a.m., but at approximately 7 a.m. a resident on Beach Pond Road called police to report his vehicle had been stolen. Police believe Dearnley stole that vehicle as well.

Meanwhile, police found security camera video footage of Dearnley crossing the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store located near the scene of the first break-in at about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, and then found that that the footprints matched the footprints they had been following.

Police are still looking for one of the vehicles that Dearnley stole, Maloney said.

Dearnley was to be arraigned on extradition charges Friday. He will be arraigned in a New Hampshire court when he is returned from Vermont, Maloney said.

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