Thief with $12 wine bottle restrained by customer after tussling with clerks

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MANCHESTER, NH — Justin Small, 29, of Manchester, couldn’t get past a customer at Gulf Express after pushing past two clerks and trying to run out the door with a $12 bottle of wine, police said.

Instead, he was charged with robbery, after police arrived and placed him under arrest.

On Nov. 12 Small allegedly entered the gas station/convenience store, 21 Main St., at about 7:45 p.m. According to police he grabbed a $12 bottle of wine and hid it from clerks as he headed toward the exit door. One of the clerks saw him take the bottle, so she confronted him and asked him to put it back on the shelf.

Small allegedly pushed the clerk, Annette Williams, 50, of Manchester. A second clerk, Monica Acosta, 27, of Manchester, intervened and attempted to retrieve the concealed bottle of wine. Small allegedly pushed Acosta as he made his way toward the door.

Williams got in front of him for a second time and he allegedly pushed her again. This time he allegedly used enough force to cause her to fall. A customer in the store, Colin O’Neil, 27, of Manchester, who witnessed the chain of events grabbed hold of Small and restrained him until police arrived.

Williams sustained minor scrapes and bruises but refused medical treatment. Acosta did not receive any injuries as a result of being pushed. Small was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with robbery based on the fact he used force in the commission of the crime. He will appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.

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About Carol Robidoux 5781 Articles
Journalist and editor of, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.