Citizens Bank robbery suspect ordered held without bail

  • Sarah Hodge of Concord listens during a bail hearing on Wednesday. Caitlin AndrewsMonitor staff

  • Concord police Detective Wade Brown testifies during a bail hearing for Sarah Hodge on Wednesday. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • Sarah Lynn Hodge Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 10/10/2018 1:11:59 PM

A Concord woman accused of robbing the downtown Citizens Bank will be held without bail after a Concord police officer said her robbery note caused bank tellers to fear for their safety.

Sarah Hodge, 57, is facing a felony robbery charge after she demanded $20,000 in a note to a bank teller last Wednesday. The teller at the Capital Plaza bank told Hodge that she did not have $20,000 but would empty her top and bottom drawers and provide the cash inside, according to a sworn affidavit written by Concord police Detective Bryan Croft.

In response, Hodge “kept putting her hand toward her pocket” while ordering the teller to “hurry,” the affidavit says. Hodge was not armed, but the teller told police she was terrified Hodge was going to pull out a gun.

Concord police Detective Wade Brown testified during a bail hearing Wednesday that the note also included words to the effect of “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

Judge John Kissinger Jr. agreed that Hodge posed a threat to the community based on the note, along with recent convictions of theft, burglary and drug possession in New Hampshire and three armed robbery convictions in Massachusetts.

“The clear implications of ‘I do not want to hurt anybody’ is that if you do not comply with the demand, you will be harmed,” Kissinger said. Such a note would be “terrifying” to anyone in a similar situation, he said.

Concord police apprehended Hodge last Thursday, more than 24 hours after the downtown robbery. Police said they found the note during the execution of a search warrant at Hodge’s residence the night before.

Hodge’s attorney, Jeremy Clemans, asked Kissinger to set personal recognizance bail with required monitoring through the county’s pretrial services program, saying Hodge has a wide range of serious medical issues. Previously, he said she receives methadone injections daily at the Manchester clinic for pain.

Brown testified that Hodge allowed police to briefly search her apartment prior to obtaining a search warrant, although she became “upset” and cursed at the officers when they informed her of the search warrant.

Brown, who said he has interacted with Hodge over the past 10 years, said she popped into his mind when he viewed the bank’s surveillance footage.

But it wasn’t until he saw in her home the blue jeans and tan work boots the suspect was seen wearing at the bank – as well as Tyson, a brown pit bull two witnesses told police they had seen in the area during the robbery – that Brown said he felt certain Hodge was involved.

Later, Brown said Hodge reached out to him and was willing to show police where she buried the money on Concord Hospital’s grounds. He said about $6,900 had been taken from the bank, but only $6,100 had been recovered. Hodge told him some of the money was given to her sister, who also lives in Concord.

Brown included roughly $300 police found on Hodge’s person prior to taking her to the police department for the first time in the total money police recovered. Hodge told him the money had been withdrawn from a TD Bank ATM prior to the robbery.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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