By Chris Paul
In the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 1, Hampstead Police officers responded to a local convenience store for an armed robbery, which led them to a home invasion and kidnapping on Wellington Drive.
At approximately 2 a.m. on Monday morning, Hampstead Police Officer, Allan Fratus, responded to the XtraMart on Emerson Avenue for a reported armed robbery.
Upon arrival, Officer Fratus learned that a male subject entered the convenience store and committed a robbery, with what was believed to be a firearm.
The suspect was then seen leaving the area in a dark colored sedan.
At approximately 2:23 a.m., Officer Fratus located the suspect’s vehicle on Route 111 and followed it, with a short police pursuit.
The vehicle turned onto Hickory Road and pulled into the entrance of a driveway. Upon making contact with the vehicle, a male passenger held a handgun to the operator’s head and threatened to harm the female operator. The vehicle sped off and eluded the officer. The officer noted the license plate to the vehicle was partially covered up with some sort of material.
At the time, several surrounding police departments were responding to the area and began searching for the suspect vehicle.
About 20-minutes later, officers were dispatched to a residence on Wellington Drive for a report of an armed home invasion.
It was reported that a suspect had several members of the household held hostage, at gunpoint. Officers arrived on scene and located the suspect vehicle in the driveway. A perimeter was set up and additional resources were requested; this included assistance from several area police departments, New Hampshire State Police and the Southern New Hampshire Special Operations Unit.
During the course of the standoff, the robbery suspect was identified as Jose Robles, 39, who is currently homeless, but the last known address was in Taunton, Mass.
The operator of the vehicle was identified as Robles’s fiancé, Camille Knox, 37, with the last known address being in Athol, Mass., also currently homeless.
According to police, Robles attempted to leave the residence on multiple occasions, in the homeowner’s vehicle, while holding a gun to one of the resident’s head. Officers on scene were able to contain the situation and keep the vehicle from exiting the garage area.
During the standoff, members of the home, including the homeowner’s children and their grandmother were able to flee to safety.
Knox eventually left the house and it was at this point officers learned that she was Robles fiancé.
Knox told officers that she and Robles are currently homeless and advised police that Robles was currently under the influence of cocaine and “meth”.
At about 4:32 a.m., the last hostage in the house was able to flee the residence when Robles reportedly took an unknown number of pills and possibly “passed out”.
With the assistance of a drone, members of the Southern New Hampshire Special Operations Unit were able to enter the house and take Robles into custody without anyone being further harmed.
Officers determined that the handgun was actually a B.B. gun, and upon further investigation, police alleges that Knox was an actual accomplice to armed robbery.
Knox was arrested and charged with: Accomplice to Armed Robbery; Disobeying an Officer; and Operating with a Suspended License. She is presumed innocent until found guilty and was held on preventive detention. Knox was then transported to and held at Rockingham County Jail and was arraigned on Tuesday Aug. 2, at the Rockingham County Superior Court.
Robles was arrested and charged with multiple counts of: Armed Robbery; Criminal Threatening with a Deadly Weapon; Kidnapping; Criminal Restraint; Burglary; and Resisting Arrest. He is also presumed innocent until found guilty and was held on preventive detention. He was transported to and held at Rockingham County Jail pending his arraignment on Tuesday.
Hampstead Police Department would like to acknowledge the assistance received from several area police departments, including: Atkinson, Brentwood, Fremont, Kingston, Newton, Sandown, Salem, Plaistow, N.H. State Police, Rockingham County Dispatch and the Southern New Hampshire’s Special Operations Unit.
Police would also like to commend the XtraMart store clerk and the family members of the Wellington Drive home for their bravery and composure during and incredibly volatile situation. This investigation remains active and additional charges are possible. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Hampstead Police Department at (603) 329-5700.