By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Police used a broken tail light and a cashier's description to locate a Northfield man who allegedly robbed the Petro Mart convenience store on Lexington Drive in the north end at gunpoint Saturday night.
Benjamin Kelso, 22, of 117 Rand Road is charged with one count of armed robbery and is being held on $25,000 cash-only bail at the Belknap County House of Corrections.
Affidavits said the cashier left the building at 7:33 p.m. but was immediately accosted by a white man with a gun wearing a black winter hat, a black scarf and a black hooded sweatshirt over a gray sweater and a red undershirt. Surveillance footage also showed his jeans were faded in the front and rear around the thighs.
Video showed the cashier go back in the store, empty the cash register and cede to the robber about $700. The man fled on foot from North Main Street toward Lexington Drive.
The tape, according to affidavits, also showed that the robber got out of a black Toyota Corolla that had a passenger-side tail light that was not working. The car left the parking lot.
Within minutes of the robbery and the description of the car being broadcast over the police radio, Gilford Police called to say that they had been in contact with a car just like that on Jan. 27 and gave city police the license plate number they had run through their system.
The plate number led them to the owner of the car and her address on Batchelder St. After finding the car parked in front of 12 Batchelder St., police went to the owner's apartment where they found Kelso, who was wearing the same clothing as was shown in the video.
Because he was wearing shorts, police allowed him to dress and said he donned pants that looked like the ones in the surveillance footage.
Police searched the apartment and found a black handgun, a hat, a scarf, a sweater and hooded sweatshirt that all matched what he was allegedly wearing in the surveillance video. No mention was made of the $700.
This is from surveillance video of a robber at the Petro Mart in Laconia Sunday night. (Courtesy Laconia Police)
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