BELMONT — Police said they have recovered stolen items from a 2000 Dodge mini-van that eluded police late Sunday night but was later located in Laconia. An as yet unknown driver steered the vehicle from Sun Lake Drive down an embankment, exiting at Aaron's Furniture and Appliance Store, and then jumped a median on Rte. 3 before and heading off toward Laconia in the wrong lane.
Lt. Rich Mann said yesterday that a police officer on patrol originally noticed the van enter a "closed business" in the Sun Lake neighborhood, which is a new home development. He said the officer got close enough to get the license plate before the driver of the van took off.
Mann said Laconia Police were immediately notified but the van crashed into a parked car in the driveway of a residence on Court Street and the driver fled. Laconia Police logs indicate they assisted Belmont just before midnight.
Police said tools and equipment from a home construction site were missing and the van was impounded after the crash so that police could get a search warrant yesterday.
Mann said Belmont's K-9 and handler conducted a foot search for the driver Sunday night and early Monday morning but were unable to find him or her.
He said Sun Lake Drive is very close to a different construction site where construction tools were taken on July 20, most of which were recovered from pawn shops outside of the Lakes Region. Mann noted that because of the earlier theft and an uptick in the number of thefts from construction sites, police had been patrolling more regularly in the general area.
Mann also recommended that contractors should photograph their tools and equipment and keep records of the serials numbers so they can be easily identified should they be stolen and recovered.
He said anyone with information about these thefts should call the Belmont Police at 267-8350.
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