Burglar arrested after allegedly victimizing Belmont couple
BELMONT – Police are warning residents to beware of unfamiliar cars in their driveways after an elderly Belmont couple was allegedly victimized by a burglar who was caught after a police chase that closed part of Interstate 93 Friday afternoon.
Robert Martel, 30, whose last known address was 336 Central Street, Apt. 24, Franklin, with charged with Class A felony burglary and Class A theft of a motor vehicle when police apprehended him just south of Exit 19 on Interstate 93, according to Police Lt. Richard Mann.
Martel refused to comply with booking procedures at the station and also refused the services of a bail commissioner. He was taken to the Belknap County Jail where he will be held until his arraignment on Monday.
On Friday at 12:27 p.m., an elderly Belmont couple came home from shopping and found an unfamiliar vehicle parked in their driveway at their Cross Street home. Police did not release the names of the alleged robbery victims.
"The homeowners, unaware of the danger they were about to encounter, parked their car behind an unknown SUV," Mann said, which was later found to be owned by Martel.
Upon entering their home they came across two exterior doors that had been forced open. They confronted Martel inside their home, carrying a pillow case from the couple's bedroom," Mann said.
"The elderly male yelled for his wife to call 911 as the intruder ran passed them both headed for the driveway," Mann said. "In the driveway a brief struggle took place between the intruder and the male homeowner. The intruder tried to escape in his own vehicle but was unable to as the homeowner's car was behind his."
Mann said Martel then stole the homeowners' car and "fled the area at a high rate of speed." Two Belmont officers, who were at the home within 90 seconds of the residents' 911 call, rendered aid to the homeowner, who had sustained a hand injury as a result of the struggle in the driveway with Martel, he said.
Belmont Officers immediately put out a radio broadcast requesting that area police departments and troopers be on the lookout for the stolen car. Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier located the stolen car travelling west on Route 3 in Tilton by the Tanger Outlet Mall and followed the stolen car onto 93 South.
Martel was stopped by several police officers and arrested just south of Exit 19 after police had closed a section of the highway while in pursuit of him.
Jewelry stolen from the home was recovered inside the stolen car. The homeowners were working with Belmont detectives late Friday afternoon, making a full accounting of property stolen from the home.
"The homeowners were obviously shaken up by the event but were happy to hear that an arrest had been made," Mann said.
"If a homeowner comes across an unfamiliar vehicle in their driveway it is always best to seek the assistance of their local police department before they enter their home so they do not place themselves unknowingly in harm's way," Mann said.
The Belmont Police Department was assisted in this investigation by a contingent of law enforcement officers including State Police, Tilton Police, Northfield Police, Sanbornton Police and the Belknap County Sheriff's Office.