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July 30, 2013

Hampstead man charged in Plaistow holdup

PLAISTOW — A Hampstead man allegedly held up Rite Aid on Garden Road Sunday afternoon for prescription drugs, according to police.

Deputy police Chief Kathleen Jones said Jason Gaff, 37, went into Rite Aid at around 3:20 p.m. and asked for Xanax and Klonopin. After the clerk asked if he had a prescription, Jones said Gaff flashed a handgun in the waistband of his shorts and said he “didn’t want any trouble.”

The clerk handed Gaff an unknown amount of pills and Gaff quickly left the store, police said. A Rite Aid employee followed Gaff out of the store and watched him get into a white Lincoln Town Car.

Employees called police and just minutes later, Officer Dorothy McGurren saw the car heading east on Westville Road. McGurren attempted to stop Gaff, but he kept going.

McGurren then attempted twice to pull in front of Gaff and block him, but Gaff swerved around her both times and kept going.

Then McGurren tried to stop Gaff for a third time and Gaff once again tried to get around her. He wasn’t successful this time. Gaff’s car hit the front end of McGurren’s cruiser, causing him to swerve off Kingston Road.

Police said Gaff then hit McGurren’s car a second time when he tried to get back on the road.

Sgt. Valquerio Eiro arrived to the scene and the two cruisers were able to pin Gaff’s car near the entrance to Stonebridge Village Condominiums off Old Country Road. McGurren saw Gaff throw the handgun out the window, Jones said. Police recovered the weapon a short distance away from gaff’s car. He was arrested at around 3:30 p.m.

Gaff was charged with robbery, possession of a controlled drug, felon in possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property, changing marks, reckless operation and disobeying an officer.

He was arraigned in 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow yesterday morning and is being held at the county jail on $50,000 cash bail. He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing Aug. 8.

McGurren’s cruiser was damaged, Jones said, and was in the body shop yesterday afternoon.

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