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Monday, September 15, 2014

FUGITIVE RUNS ON DUNKIN’, BUT CAUGHT BY U.S. MARSHALS TASK FORCE



CONCORD, N.H. – Yesterday evening, Fugitive of the Week, Christopher Stevens was arrested in Somersworth, N.H.  Stevens, 23, last known to live in Laconia, N.H., and wanted on an outstanding probation warrant issued out of Belknap County.  Stevens was on probation for a 2013 conviction and sentence for intimidation (stalking) and criminal threatening.  On this past Monday, Stevens was also identified as the person that allegedly stole $6,000 from Dunkin’ Donuts across the street from the Bedford Police Department.  During this robbery, Stevens allegedly brandished a handgun in the parking lot and approached an employee on her way to the bank to make a deposit.  Stevens was aided in this robbery by his wife Sara Stevens who was identified by witnesses as the getaway driver.

As part of the U.S. Marshals fugitive investigation, Stevens was featured as the “Fugitive of the Week” on September 4th.  The “Fugitive of the Week” is broadcast on WTPL-FM, WMUR-TV, The Union Leader, The Nashua Telegraph, The Patch, Foster’s Daily Democrat and is prominently featured on the internet.  The “Fugitive of the Week” has been a very successful tool that has resulted in the location and arrest of numerous fugitives since its implementation in 2007.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force received numerous tips regarding the whereabouts of Stevens, since he was featured as the “Fugitive of the Week” on September 4th.  These tips led investigators to several areas across southern N.H.   On Wednesday, members of the Fugitive Task Force were able to locate and arrest, Sara Stevens in Laconia, along with the getaway vehicle used in Monday’s robbery of the Dunkin’ Donuts in Bedford.  Sara Stevens, age 26, was arrested on a warrant issued by the Bedford Police Department for Accomplice to Armed Robbery.  After Sara’s arrest, the fugitive investigation of Christopher Stevens intensified.  These efforts paid off yesterday, when information was developed that Christopher Stevens was in hiding in an apartment on Highland Street in Somersworth, N.H.    Several members of the task force went to the suspected location.  At this residence, once Stevens was aware of the task force’s presence, he looked out the window to see if he could flee.  Stevens quickly realized his only option was to surrender and open the door, where he was arrested without further incident.  Stevens was brought to the Bedford Police Department for processing on the warrant for armed robbery and will be held at the Hillsborough County Jail pending his initial court appearance later today.  Once Stevens has resolved his case in Hillsborough County, he will be turned over to the Belknap County Sheriff’s Office to answer to his outstanding probation violation warrant.  This lengthy investigation and arrest was a large undertaking by the U.S. Marshal’s - N.H. Joint Fugitive Task Force, and involved numerous Task Force members from the Belknap, Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford County Sheriff’s Offices, Deputy U.S. Marshals, with additional assistance from the Bedford, Laconia, Manchester & Greenfield Police Department.

Additionally, this week’s Fugitive of the Week, Alex Ortiz, Sr., was located in the Hillsborough County Jail.  Ortiz was being sought by the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office on an arrest warrant alleging multiple charges including; criminal threatening, reckless conduct with a deadly weapon (vehicle), simple assault X5, and endangering the welfare of a child. These warrants stemmed from an incident that had occurred in Rockingham County in February, 2014, during which Ortiz is alleged to have threatened to harm/kill, physically assaulted and endangered multiple people (including children) while driving a car.  After seeing that Ortiz was featured as this week’s Fugitive of the Week, the Hillsborough County Jail notified the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office that Ortiz was currently in custody at the Hillsborough County Jail on unrelated charges.  Once Ortiz’s criminal matters in Hillsborough County have been resolved, he will be turned over to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office on these other very serious allegations.

Since the inception of the New Hampshire Joint Fugitive Task Force in 2002, these partnerships have resulted in over 5,801 arrests (Updated as of 08/13/2014).  These arrests have ranged in seriousness from murder, assault, unregistered sex offenders, probation and parole violations and numerous other serious offenses.  Nationally the United States Marshals Service fugitive programs are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, 7 regional task forces, as well as a growing network of offices in foreign countries.

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