By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER – An alleged shoplifter tried to elude police by jumping into the Shawsheen River, police said.
Patrolman Eric Sewade was on patrol near Kohl’s Department Store, 350 Winthrop Ave., when he heard over the radio a man had stolen merchandise from that business. Sewade turned his cruiser around just in time to see the suspect being chased from the store by a loss prevention officer, according to police Lt. Charles Gray.
Sewade ordered the man to stop but he got into a car and started to drive away, Gray said. When Sewade blocked the suspect’s vehicle, he got out of the car and ran toward Route 114.
With Sewade in pursuit, the suspect ran across the highway and into the Shawsheen River, Gray said. By that time, Patrolmen Mark Wilson and Jarred Lawlor had arrived and the suspect was handcuffed without a fight, Gray said.
Michael Anthony Valdez, 29, of 55 Sheffield Road, Portsmouth, N.H., was arrested and charged with shoplifting and resisting arrest. The incident was reported to police at 2:14 p.m.
A few hours later, employees at Market Basket, located in the same plaza as Kohl’s, caught an alleged shoplifter, according to Gray.
Caitlyn Caron, 19, of 33 Meetinghouse Road, Merrimack, N.H., was arrested at 6:33 p.m. by Patrolman Christopher Smedile and charged with shoplifting.
Caron was also arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant. She was wanted by New Hampshire authorities on a charge of motor vehicle theft, police said.