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Thief who stole from store clerk who suffered fatal heart attack is back in jail

Union Leader Correspondent

May 11. 2017 7:56PM
Jeffrey Seymore enters the courtroom Thursday for a hearing in his latest theft case. (Jason Schreiber)

BRENTWOOD — A convicted thief who stole cigarettes from an Epping store clerk who died of a heart attack a short time after the Christmas Eve heist in 2013 is back behind bars.

Jeffrey Seymore, 30, was sentenced to nine months in jail Thursday for violating probation at a hearing in Rockingham County Superior Court.

The Manchester man was given another 2- to 7-year prison sentence that was suspended for three years and he must pay $598 in restitution after pleading guilty to stealing a drill set from Home Depot in Londonderry last June.

Assistant County Attorney William Pate said Seymore is facing additional charges for thefts from stores in Hillsborough and Merrimack counties.

“It’s disappointing to see that this person has consistently demonstrated that he has a problem and nothing is happening to fix that,” said Chris Blais, whose father, Norman Blais, was working at the Epping Cumberland Farms on Dec. 24, 2013, when Seymore swiped four cartons of cigarettes from the counter and took off.

His father got a description of Seymore’s vehicle and gave it to police, who later tracked him down in Raymond.

But two hours after the theft, the 67-year-old Blais, who was shaken and rushing to get caught up on work, collapsed and suffered a fatal heart attack.

In the days before the theft at Cumberland Farms, Seymore also stole cigarettes from an Xtra Mart in Epping and more cigarettes from a Shell service station in Raymond.

He pleaded guilty to the thefts in 2015 and was sentenced to a year in jail. He was released after six months and placed on probation.

“It’s frustrating. You’d think that after a certain number of these that the consequence would be more. We were lucky to see him have any consequences, but it doesn’t look like any consequence is going to help,” Chris Blais said in an interview Thursday after learning about Seymore’s latest conviction.

At the time of Blais’ death, the case was reviewed by Epping police, county prosecutors and the state Attorney General’s Office to see if a homicide charge could be filed because the stress of the theft may have contributed to his heart attack. Following the review, authorities determined that such a serious charge couldn’t be proven based on the circumstances.

The Blais family settled for the theft charge, and while they believed that Seymore’s actions were a factor in the death, they didn’t feel that he intended to cause the Nottingham man to have a heart attack.

“We thought six months was better than nothing, and we thought he would have some time to reflect on what he had done. It may be as innocent as stealing cigarettes, but the more he goes down that path someone could seriously get hurt,” Chris Blais said.

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