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Man holds car thief at bay with gun until police arrive

Union Leader Correspondent

December 17. 2013 9:48PM

NASHUA — A man attempting to steal an idling vehicle in a hospital parking lot on Tuesday was held at gunpoint by the car's owner until police arrived.

James Paul, 33, of 32A Route 101A, Amherst, has been charged with attempted unauthorized use of a propelled vehicle.

According to Lt. Denis Linehan, authorities responded around noon to the parking lot across the street from Southern New Hampshire Medical Center for a man pointing a gun at another individual.

Linehan said police located both men involved and learned that Paul allegedly tried to steal the idling, vacant car. The vehicle's owner, whose name was not immediately released by police, retrieved a handgun and pointed it at Paul in an attempt to detain him until authorities arrived.

"It appears that the individual with the firearm acted appropriately, as he felt that he was being threatened by this other individual," said Linehan. "We are glad that nobody was injured."

Police are continuing to investigate the incident, but said the vehicle's owner does have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The handgun was never discharged, and no one was injured in the incident, according to Linehan.

The area near the parking lot was temporarily shut down while police investigated. Witnesses were in the area and provided statements to investigators, said Linehan.

Police said they are still trying to determine why the vehicle was running, but not occupied. He was unsure whether an automatic car starter had been activated from the hospital.

"We are still looking into that," said Linehan. "It is too early to tell."

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