Evasive Vermont thief finally captured after wild multi-modal pursuit

09:08 08.09.2023

A Vermont armed robbery suspect who had managed to elude capture for over a week by utilizing a range of stolen vehicles and modes of transportation, was finally apprehended by authorities on Thursday after he was spotted kayaking on a river.

The suspect, identified as 52-year-old Eric Edson, had been wanted for a robbery that took place in a store in Burlington on August 24, as well as for impeding and assaulting two police officers, and multiple counts of theft involving a sailboat and various vehicles.

Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad emphasized the dangerous nature of Edson, stating, "Because of the unusualness of Mr. Edson's various modes of flight, from cars to bikes to paddle boards to sailboats to tractors, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that Mr. Edson is a dangerous person."

The pursuit of Edson began on August 30 when Burlington police responded to a report of a man passed out in a running vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle used in a previous robbery. When officers tried to awaken him, Edson quickly fled at a high speed, using the vehicle to assault both officers in the process.

Later that evening, Edson managed to escape police on foot and subsequently stole a bicycle. However, he didn't stop there and soon made off with a sailboat on Lake Champlain. The Coast Guard eventually intercepted the sailboat, but Edson fled again when the boat ran aground at the base of lakeside cliffs.

For the following week, Edson managed to evade capture, leaving a trail of abandoned stolen vehicles in his wake, including a full-size John Deere tractor and a dump truck. But luck finally turned against him when Vermont State Police received a tip on Thursday, revealing that Edson had been spotted kayaking on the Lamoille River in Georgia, Vermont, approximately 21 miles away from Burlington.

Upon spotting law enforcement, Edson landed the kayak, believed to be stolen, on the northern riverbank. He then quickly fled on foot, jumping into the river and swimming to the southern shore, where troopers and game wardens were able to apprehend him.

Following his arrest, Edson was taken to a hospital for evaluation of injuries he had apparently sustained while on the run. Once discharged, he is expected to be arraigned on Friday. It remains unclear whether Edson has legal representation at this time.

The extensive list of charges against Edson includes felony charges of eluding law enforcement, as well as misdemeanors for the unauthorized use of a boat and two counts of negligent operation of a vehicle. Additionally, he is facing charges for violating conditions of a previous release associated with multiple underlying charges, including burglary and possession of stolen property.

Edson's capture marks the end of a dramatic and unconventional pursuit that left law enforcement officers in disbelief as he continuously evaded capture through his resourcefulness and ability to switch between stolen vehicles and modes of transportation.

/ Friday, September 8, 2023, 9:08 AM /

themes:  Georgia  Vermont

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