EPPING — A Manchester man charged in a series of cigarette thefts from local convenience stores, including one in which a clerk died of an apparent heart attack two hours later, is expected to be back in court next week.
Jeffrey Seymore, 27, is scheduled to be arraigned in Candia Circuit Court on March 3 on a theft charge alleging he stole two cartons of cigarettes from a Shell service station on Route 107 in Raymond on Dec. 22.
According to police, the theft occurred shortly after he stole two cartons of cigarettes from an Xtra Mart on Route 125 in Epping. Seymore is set to be arraigned on the Epping theft charge on March 6 in the Brentwood Circuit Court.
Seymore recently pleaded not guilty to stealing four cartons of cigarettes from Cumberland Farms in Epping on Christmas Eve. Police said he entered the store and asked for the cigarettes, but when store clerk Norman Blais placed them on the counter, Seymore grabbed them and ran out of the store. He fled in a car with a woman and both were later caught in Raymond, police said..
Blais, 67, of Nottingham, died about two hours after the theft. His wife, Denise, has said he suffered a heart attack and has insisted that the stress from the theft may have been a contributing factor.
The theft charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which could bring a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 if Seymore is convicted.
Police may consider bringing more serious charges in light of the death, but Epping Police Chief Michael Wallace has acknowledged that it would be difficult to prove that the theft was directly linked to Blais’ death.
Wallace said Monday that police are still awaiting a final autopsy report from the state Medical Examiner’s Office.
Seymore faces a fourth theft charge alleging he stole two cartons of cigarettes from the Global gas station in Londonderry on Dec. 18. He has been arraigned on that charge and a trial management conference is scheduled for April 7.