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Man accused of holding up Plaistow drug store, striking cruiser


PLAISTOW — A Hampstead man is facing several charges after he allegedly used a handgun to hold up a Rite Aid Sunday and then rammed into a police cruiser when he tried to flee, according to police.

Jason T. Gaff, 37, of 8 Johnson Meadow Road, was arraigned Monday in the 10th Circuit Court, Plaistow District Division, and ordered held on $50,000 cash bail at the Rockingham County jail.

According to police, Gaff was arrested after the Rite Aid at 31 Garden Road was robbed shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Victims and witnesses at Rite Aid told police that a man, later identified as Gaff, came into the store and began browsing around before eventually approaching the pharmacy window and telling the clerk that he needed the prescription drugs Klonopin and Xanax, police said.

When the clerk asked if he had a prescription, Gaff told her, “No, I don’t want any trouble,” according to police.

He then pulled up his shirt and displayed a handgun tucked into the waist of his shorts, police said.

Gaff was given some pills and then took off in a white 1990 Lincoln Town Car, police said.

When Officer Dorothy McGurren spotted the car heading toward her on Westville Road, she quickly turned her cruiser around and tried to stop him. Police said he refused to stop, so McGurren tried to block him, but he pulled around the cruiser and continued to flee.

McGurren followed the car onto Kingston Road.

Police said Gaff struck the cruiser twice as he tried to get away.

He eventually backed into a condominium complex on Old County Road. Police said Sgt. Valquerio Eiro arrived and the two cruisers cornered the vehicle.

Gaff allegedly threw the handgun out of the car and was arrested and charged with robbery; possession of a controlled drug; felon in possession of a firearm; receiving stolen property; changing marks for allegedly scratching off the serial number of the firearm; reckless operation; and disobeying a police officer.

He is due back in court Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. for a probable cause hearing.

Any witnesses or anyone with information about the robbery are asked to call Plaistow Police Department at 382-1200.

jschreiber@newstote.com

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