The Cumberland Farms in Epping was targeted by a thief on Christmas Eve who allegedly stole four cartons of cigarettes from store clerk Norman Blais. Blais died of an apparent heart attack two hours later, according to his wife. JASON SCHREIBER
"He stole from me. He stole my husband"
Epping convenience store clerk, 67, fatally stricken as wife comforts him following late-night robbery
Now it was Denise Blais frantically dialing 911. "I tried my best to save him," she said.
He died of an apparent heart attack, but his wife has asked for an autopsy to confirm the cause and time of his death.
If not for the stress caused by the theft, Denise Blais said she believes her husband might still be alive. In this case, she said the accused thief stole more than just cigarettes.
Using the description provided by Blais and other witnesses, police caught up with the suspected thief in nearby Raymond.
Jeffrey Seymore, 27, of 278 Somerville St., Manchester, was charged with theft by Epping police.
Raymond police charged Foster will driving while intoxicated, possession of drugs in a motor vehicle and criminal liability for conduct of another related to the Epping theft.
While Denise Blais believes the theft was a contributing factor to her husband's death, Epping Capt. Jason Newman said police aren't planning additional charges.
She said her husband suffered a heart attack 10 years ago, but has had no heart problems since then. He checked out fine during a physical in November, she said.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of our employee. He was more than a member of our workforce, he was a member of the Cumberland Farms' family, and our hearts and thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones," said Derek Beckwith, spokesman for Cumberland Farms.
"I want him to acknowledge that if it wasn't because he did what he did that would never have happened," she said of her husband's death. "I think they should put him to work to do volunteer service for however long. I don't want him to just get a slap on the hand. There are so many people doing that and they know they're just going to get a slap on the hand."