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Police: Robber armed with pellet gun admits to bank heists in Exeter, Stratham

Union Leader Correspondent

January 29. 2018 8:10PM
Michael Holt listens to a judge during his bail hearing Monday afternoon on charges he robbed banks in Exeter and Stratham. (Jason Schreiber/Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — A Brentwood man accused of robbing banks in Exeter and Stratham confessed to the hold-ups and told police that he was armed with a pellet gun when he passed notes demanding thousands of dollars and threatening to kill a teller, police said in affidavits.

Michael Holt, 49, was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail Monday following his arrest Saturday at his home where police from Brentwood, Exeter and Stratham and members of the Seacoast Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant after getting a tip identifying him as the suspected robber.

Holt faces two counts of robbery for allegedly holding up the TD Bank in Stratham on Jan. 13 and People’s United Bank in Exeter on Jan. 19.

A note passed to the Exeter teller allegedly stated, in part, “I have a gun. I will shoot and kill you if I don’t get at least $4,000, no dyes, no alarms, no eye contact.”

Police said the teller at the Stratham bank recalled the note she was given stated, “This is a robbery, don’t be stupid. I have a gun and will use it. Give me $6,000.”

According to affidavits from Exeter and Stratham police, investigators began focusing on Holt after getting a tip from an employee of a local business who recognized him after bank surveillance photos were publicized. The employee told police that he recognized the suspected robber, the tattoo on his neck, and the oversized Carhartt sweatshirt that appears to have been worn in both robberies.

Investigators were ultimately led to Holt’s residence at 51 Middle Road in Brentwood. Brentwood police confirmed that they had responded to his home in October when Holt had overdosed, the Stratham police affidavit said.

During interviews, police said Holt admitted to robbing both banks. He told police that he threatened to use a gun in both robberies and that he asked for $6,000 in the Stratham heist and $4,000 in the Exeter one. Exeter police showed Holt surveillance images from the robberies and he identified himself as the person in the photos, an affidavit said.

Holt allegedly made off with $450 from TD Bank and approximately $2,124 from People’s United Bank.

Police said they found the Carhartt sweatshirt and the pellet gun Holt claimed he used in the Exeter robbery when they searched his house.

Rockingham County Superior Court Judge N. William Delker agreed with Assistant County Attorney Jill Cook’s request that bail be set at $25,000 cash.

Defense attorney Sydney Hanson called the bail amount “astronomical,” saying he would likely be able to pull together a few hundred dollars.

Holt’s criminal record includes crimes such as theft, drug possession and criminal mischief, but Hanson stressed that he’s had no felony convictions and no record since 2004.

Courts Crime Brentwood Exeter Stratham

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