An off-duty cop? A quality-control agent? A guy down on his luck? Or just a story telling robber?
MANCHESTER, NH – A city man allegedly robbed three separate stores during a two-hour crime spree on May 13. The man, identified by police as Thomas Cashman, 32, of Manchester, left three separate stores with groceries, cigarettes and a small amount of cash.
Manchester Patrol Officers Ian Fleming and David Golia were on duty and began looking out for the robber after the first two robberies were called in.
The first robbery was at TN Convenience, 90 Bridge St., around 12:30 a.m. on May 13. A robber, later identified as Cashman, allegedly entered the store and placed various groceries on the counter. Once the clerk rang him out, the robber stated he had no money and wanted to leave with the groceries. The clerk began arguing with him, but realized the robber was reaching toward his rear waistband alluding to the fact he was in possession of a weapon. The clerk allowed the robber to leave and reported the robbery to Manchester Police.
Approximately one hour later, at 1:20 a.m., a clerk at 7-Eleven, 117 Queen City Ave., told police a man matching the first robber’s description walked into the store and requested two cartons of cigarettes. He eventually settled on five packs of Camel Blues and then demanded money from the register. The robber told the clerk not to worry because he was an off-duty police officer. He took $40 in cash, plus the five packs of cigarettes, and fled the area.
Police received a description of the robber and a vehicle he may be in, so they continued to patrol in the area of 24-hour convenience stores. That is when wagon officers Fleming and Golia observed a vehicle parked across the street from the Shell station, 1932 South Willow St. The officers determined that the customer visible inside of the store looked similar to the descriptions provided of the robber in the previous two calls, and so they entered the store to speak with the man.
They identified Cashman and also spoke with the store clerk, Spencer Sanzo, 22, of Manchester. Sanzo told police that Cashman had entered the store a few hours earlier (11:30 p.m. on May 12) and asked for cigarettes. Once he was given the cigarettes, Cashman allegedly told Sanzo to hand over the money in the cash register as he displayed a black handle to a handgun.
Sanzo began to retrieve the money, but Cashman began laughing and told the clerk he was “only kidding” and was actually hired by Shell Corporation to “test Sanzo.” Sanzo told police he felt nervous and was unsure if it was legitimate or not, so he did not report the incident to police after the first encounter with Cashman.
Fortunately for Sanzo, the officer’s were on the lookout after the earlier robberies and apprehended Cashman before he was able to terrorize Sanzo for a second time during his shift, police said. Cashman did not have a handgun when apprehended, but he was in possession of a 10-inch bowie knife.
Cashman was charged with three counts attempted robbery; and felon in possession of a a deadly weapon. He was arraigned in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on May 13. He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing on May 28 and was held pending a $10,000 cash/surety bail.