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'Jack the Snipper' arrested for indecent exposure in Salem

Union Leader Correspondent

May 19. 2015 9:03PM


SALEM — A Manchester man known as “Jack the Snipper” for his alleged history of targeting young women has been arrested for exposing himself to an 11-year-old girl at a local bookstore.

Jeffrey Gelinas, 39, was arraigned on Tuesday on a felony count of indecent exposure for an incident at Barnes & Noble on April 12. Judge Robert Stephen ordered Gelinas held at the Rockingham County jail on $50,000 cash bail.

Gelinas was paroled in 2012, after serving about eight years in state prison for attempted burglary after being identified as the prime suspect in a series of break-ins at apartments near the University of New Hampshire. The burglar targeted young women in their sleep between 2003 and 2004, snipping off their undergarments before fleeing.

Gelinas’ latest arrest in Salem marks his third since being released from state prison. Dover police arrested Gelinas in 2013 for exposing himself to a young girl at a Bed, Bath & Beyond store. He was convicted last August of a similar incident in Hillsborough County. Store managers in Salem were the first to identify Gelinas because of their prior contact with him in Nashua.

“They recognized this person based on a previous indecent exposure case that they were involved in that took place in their Nashua, N.H., store at the Barnes & Noble in 2013,” police detective Robert Genest said in a sworn affidavit.

The girl was in the Salem bookstore with her older sister and father about 6 p.m.

“She said she was in the children’s section of the store looking at items in front of her,” Genest said in the affidavit. “She said that she looked over and noticed that there was a man standing next to her. She said that she remembered this man from earlier because she had seen him in the coffee shop downstairs and that he was ‘odd.’”

The girl said when she looked back at Gelinas, he had exposed himself.

“She said she was shocked by what she had seen and went to find her sister,” Genest said. “She said that when she found her sister, the two of them went to look for him. She said that they had found him in a different section of the store.”

Gelinas was no longer exposing himself, and eventually left the store.

Police shared surveillance footage from the Salem incident with area police. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state identified Gelinas because of previous contact with him, according to Genest.

Genest went to Gelinas’ apartment in Manchester to question him about the last time he was in Salem. Gelinas said that he didn’t remember; he was shown a surveillance photo from the Salem bookstore.

“After carefully examining the photo, Gelinas said that the person in the photo was him,” Genest said in the affidavit.

Genest said that he explained to Gelinas “that he had just gotten out of jail for a similar incident and that what he did to this girl was wrong.”

Gelinas nodded his head, and said, “I know. I know,” the affidavit said. Gelinas was ordered to have no contact with anyone under 18. The judge also barred him from entering any stores in Salem, and all New Hampshire Barnes & Noble locations.

Gelinas is facing a potential 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison if he is convicted.

The charge is an enhanced penalty in light of his prior indecent exposure convictions.

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