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Nashua chief aims to reassure public in wake of robberies

Union Leader Correspondent

September 11. 2013 9:20PM

NASHUA — With the city on edge after numerous armed robberies in the past few weeks, police are reassuring the public that they are working around the clock to keep the community safe.

In a joint meeting involving Police Chief John Seusing, the Nashua Police Commission and the Board of Aldermen, Seusing acknowledged the recent spike in violent crimes, maintaining the department is out in full force trying to resolve and prevent these incidents.

Following an armed robbery Monday night at Jeannette’s Market and another Tuesday night at a downtown Dunkin’ Donuts, Seusing fears that it will be just a matter of time until an officer has a confrontation with a robber and his handgun.

“We have every available resource working on trying to prevent any further robberies from occurring,” said the chief, noting there have been 24 armed robberies so far this year. “… I assure you there are many more policemen on the street that you might not see.”

Seusing says many of the armed robberies at local markets and convenience stores are likely being committed by the same individual. And the person responsible, said the chief, is probably a drug addict who needs cash to support the habit.

Understandably, downtown merchants are concerned and worried about the increase in crime. As a result, members of the department’s Burglary Unit are planning to meet with some local business owners this morning to provide them with suggested crime prevention tips.

“It is a matter of time until we catch these people,” said the chief, stressing the police force is “doing everything humanly possible to keep the community safe.”

Alderman Lori Wilshire said that while crime in Nashua has typically occurred in more transient neighborhoods, she said the most recent robbery at Jeannette’s Market — which involved a young, female store clerk — has residents on edge.

“Clearly, a lot of people in the city are concerned,” said Wilshire, asking what citizens can do to help authorities.

Seusing said his department relies on the public for help. Providing information to police is critical in solving and preventing crimes, he said, adding any suspicious activity should be reported.

Alderman Brian McCarthy, president of the Board of Aldermen, questioned the chief about the city’s drug supply and what trends are being discovered.

When a low-level drug dealer is arrested, Seusing said, it is just a matter of time until someone else steps in to take his or her place on the streets.

“I think the message needs to be sent loud and clear,” said the chief, adding heavy jail time is necessary to correct some of these issues. The root of most of the crime in Nashua and other communities is drugs, including prescription drugs, according to Seusing.

Aside from the 24 armed robberies in the Gate City so far this year, six homicides have been investigated. Seusing noted that 10 of the robberies have resulted in arrests and all six homicides have been cleared, meaning the person responsible has either been arrested or is deceased.

He stressed that none of the incidents were related, and that a different person was responsible for each crime.

“Nashua has absolutely seen an increase in some very violent crime over the summer months, specifically robberies,” said Seusing, maintaining the Patrol Bureau is extremely proactive in trying to reduce and prevent these crimes, especially while the general population is asleep.

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