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Derry man will spend up to 14 years in prison for wild chase, stealing vehicles

Union Leader Correspondent

November 28. 2017 3:45PM
Shane Collins pleaded guilty to several felony charges Tuesday in Rockingham County Superior Court. (Jason Schreiber)

BRENTWOOD - A Derry man will spend up to 14 years in prison for stealing vehicles and leading Salem police on a wild chase earlier this year.

Shane Collins was sentenced to six to 14 years after pleading guilty to several charges Tuesday in Rockingham County Superior Court.

After numerous run-ins with police in several communities in southern New Hampshire, Collins was arrested in April after Salem police tried to stop him for driving a 2002 Ford F350 pickup truck stolen in Haverhill, Mass.

Collins led police on a chase for several miles before he dumped the truck. An intense ground and air search in Chester and Derry eventually led to his capture in a Derry swamp.

Salem police prosecutor Jason Grosky once described Collins as a “one-man crime wave.”

Collins pleaded guilty to felony receiving stolen property for stealing the pickup truck used in the police chase. He also pleaded guilty to two additional felony counts of theft by unauthorized taking, five felony counts of reckless conduct, and misdemeanor charges of disobeying an officer, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest.

Some of the guilty pleas related to the theft of vehicles from Nacos Auto Sales and Michael’s Auto Sales, both in Derry.

Collins apologized for his actions and said he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” Other family members also spoke at Tuesday’s hearing, including his brother, who described Collins as a homeless man who was stealing vehicles as a way to keep warm.

Assistant Rockingham County Attorney Stephanie Johnson sought a seven- to 14-year prison sentence while the defense requested six to 14 years.

Johnson said she felt the sentence was appropriate, adding that the fact that he was willing to accept a minimum of six years in prison was “significant” and “said a lot about his ability to be successful in terms of rehabilitation.”

“What he did was pretty egregious,” she said.

According to Johnson, Collins could have 18 months of the minimum sentence suspended if he completes the prison’s substance abuse program. Johnson said Collins has struggled with substance abuse.

Collins also was given a 3½- to 7-year sentence that will be suspended for five years once he’s released.

Collins has additional charges pending in Merrimack County Superior Court and Hillsborough North Superior Court.

Courts Crime Derry Salem

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