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Convicted bank robber arrested for pair of recent armed robberies in Penacook

Benjamin W. Hugron, 32, of Pavillion Drive in Concord, was arrested on Monday, August 19, 2013 on two counts of armed robbery. It is alleged that he was behind the robberies earlier this month at Asian Taste and Sam's Food Store, both in Penacook.

Benjamin W. Hugron, 32, of Pavillion Drive in Concord, was arrested on Monday, August 19, 2013 on two counts of armed robbery. It is alleged that he was behind the robberies earlier this month at Asian Taste and Sam's Food Store, both in Penacook.

The Concord Police yesterday charged a 32-year-old Concord man and convicted bank robber in a pair of armed robberies in the area over the past two weeks, one at Asian Taste Restaurant, the other at Sam’s Food Store.

Benjamin Hugron will be arraigned today in Concord’s district court on two felony charges of armed robbery, each carrying a maximum 15-year prison sentence and $4,000 fine. He also faces federal charges on an existing arrest warrant for parole violation, which had been issued Aug. 6, two days before the first Penacook robbery, at the restaurant, said Lt. Timothy O’Malley.

Hugron is accused of robbing Sam’s Food Store a week later. In both cases, Hugron is accused of showing a weapon and demanding cash, according to the police.

O’Malley said Hugron became a suspect after the police received an anonymous tip Friday about his possible involvement in the robberies. Learning of the existing arrest warrant, detectives contacted the U.S. Marshals Service, which dispatched deputy marshals to Concord. Hugron was apprehended that night on Pavillion Drive in Penacook, where he had been living, and was held at the Merrimack County jail.

A later search of Hugron’s residence revealed “several” pieces of evidence linking him to the Penacook robberies, O’Malley said in a statement. Hugron was charged in the robberies yesterday at U.S. District Court in Concord, where he was also dealing with his parole violation case, O’Malley said.

The police had suspected both robberies could be connected. Both happened about 9:30 p.m. Both were carried out by what witnesses described as a man dressed in black and wearing gloves. And in both instances the suspect produced a handgun, demanded cash and fled on foot, the police said.

O’Malley said yesterday that authorities still have no reason to suspect Hugron was involved in a July 23 attempted robbery at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Fisherville Road or a July 27 robbery at the Cumberland Farms on Fisherville Road.

Before Friday’s arrest, federal officials had been working to locate Hugron, O’Malley said. He said the Concord police were able to track Hugron to the Pavillion Drive address, which was not Hugron’s official residence. O’Malley declined to explain how they found the address.

Hugron was sentenced in 2008 to seven years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to robbing the Citizens Bank in Penacook and the Brooks Pharmacy in Concord the previous year.

His attorney at the time, Sven Wiberg, had requested leniency, noting that Hugron had admitted his crimes immediately after being arrested and voluntarily disclosed his role in other unsolved offenses, according to court records. Wiberg also noted that Hugron had a difficult childhood that included abuse and his mother’s alcohol and drug use. Hugron, he wrote, had been “abandoned and left to fend for himself.”

Like the recent robberies, the police in 2007 turned their attention to Hugron after witnesses described similarities between the bank and pharmacy robberies.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319,
jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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