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Search for Dover bank robber turns up man hiding in supermarket ceiling

Union Leader Correspondent

July 12. 2018 9:12PM


Police in Dover identified this man who allegedly robbed Bank of New Hampshire as James Aubin, 45, of Rochester, (Courtesy of Dover Police Department)

DOVER — Police searching for a robber who held up the Bank of New Hampshire discovered a man hiding in the ceiling of a nearby Shaw’s Supermarket on Central Avenue Thursday afternoon.

It turned out Eric Lombari, 30, was not connected to the bank robbery, police said. The Dover man was out of jail on bail and panicked when he saw the response to the robbery.

“For whatever reason, he thought the police were there for him,” Sgt. Scott Pettingill said.

Police did make an arrest in the bank robbery — 45-year-old James Aubin, who was taken into custody about 6 p.m. at his Rochester home at 24 Jay Way.

“After surveillance photos were distributed by local media, we received a tip,” Lt. Brant Dolleman said of the bank robbery arrest.

Police said a man walked into a Bank of New Hampshire located near Shaw’s at 2:17 p.m. and demanded money from a teller. No weapon was shown. After receiving cash, he fled in a silver four-door sedan.

Police began investigating and asked to review surveillance footage of surrounding businesses.

A patrol officer inside Shaw’s was looking for footage about 2:45 p.m. when he heard people yelling inside the supermarket.

Capt. Brad Gould said the patrol officer was told a person had partially fallen through the drop ceiling in the area above the seafood counter and deli. The officer could see ceiling tiles on the floor.

More police responded to the scene, secured the area and evacuated customers from the store. 

Gould said a short time later, the man fell through the ceiling a second time, landing above a refrigerated meat section at the rear of the store.

“The suspect initially refused commands to come down, but eventually did so and was taken into custody without further incident,” Gould said in a statement.

Lombari was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and resisting arrest or detention. He was held on $5,000 cash bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Aubin is being held at the Strafford County House of Correction on $10,000 cash bail on one felony charge of robbery. He will be arraigned in Strafford County Superior Court Friday morning.

Anyone with information about either case is asked to call the Dover Police Department at 742-4646 or the Dover Crimeline at 749-6000.

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