NH car chase suspect went on month-long crime spree, recently released from jail
DERRY — Police documents show the man leading police on a high-speed car chase Tuesday had active arrest warrants in several other towns for other incidents with stolen cars.
Shane Collins, 42, had active arrest warrants out of Raymond, Fremont and Epsom for incidents dating back to March 9. The incidents allege Collins, in total, was in possession of six stolen cars and tampered with another.
Collins was taken into custody Wednesday evening after leading police from several towns on a 25-mile car chase and manhunt through Salem, Derry, Hampstead, Sandown and Chester.
According to police affidavits, Collins was a suspect in several incidents in which he was allegedly in possession of stolen property, specifically cars.
Here's a timeline of those incidents and what happened, according to police:
On March 9, Raymond police discovered an abandoned Chevy Tahoe on Nottingham Road. It was reported stolen from Windham earlier that day. The driver's side lock on the vehicle had also been tampered with.
Around the same time, police believe the lock of a Chevy Colorado in the parking lot of a nearby Advanced Auto Parts store also was tampered with.
Approximately two hours after the Tahoe was discovered, the owner of the Tuckaway Tavern reported to police his Chevy Silverado was stolen from the parking lot.
Video surveillance caught a man on the property walking toward the back of the restaurant and trying to enter through a locked back door.
On March 10, a Buick Century was reported stolen from Autosmith Car Co. in Epsom. An employee was doing inventory of the cars and realized one was missing.
When police responded, they reviewed surveillance video of a pick up truck stopping on Dover Road around midnight and a man walking away from the vehicle.
Two hours later, video also showed a man walking in the business's parking lot, getting into a car and driving away with the headlights off.
An Epsom police officer approached a man — who he later identified as Collins — that night as he was walking along Dover Road. Collins told him he and his girlfriend got into a fight but she would be picking him up soon.
The officer also discovered the abandoned Tahoe, but upon feeling the car was cold, had no reason to believe Collins was connected to it, and Collins was released.
When the Tahoe was later returned to its owner, it was out of gas and the keys were missing.
Police also recovered a cell phone in the front passenger seat, which was logged into a Facebook account for Shane Collins.
On March 12, Bow Police filed an arrest warrant for Collins, as he was wanted for burglary and receiving stolen property in an unrelated incident.
On March 13, Collins allegedly stole a cargo van from Concord and drove it to Home Depot in Hooksett. There, police say he stole a Chevy Tahoe from the parking lot.
The owner of the Tahoe reported to police his credit card was used at the Liberty Square Market in Fremont that same day. Surveillance video captured the suspect inside the store and it matched the description of the man who stole the Tahoe, who police later identified as Collins.
On March 15, Collins was arrested in Manchester for causing a car accident and fleeing the scene. At the time, he was driving a different Chevy Tahoe that was stolen from the parking lot at the Mall of New Hampshire two days prior.
Collins was charged with conduct after an accident and receiving stolen property. When he was arrested, police said he also answered to the charges from Bow.
On March 28, several police departments interviewed Collins while he was being held at the Valley Street Jail regarding the numerous car thefts. Police said during that interview, Collins confessed to stealing the Buick Century from Epsom and abandoning it at the Concord Airport. The vehicle was eventually located at the Banks Collision Center on Airport Road.
He also reportedly admitted to stealing the Chevy Tahoe from the Hooksett Home Depot but told police he didn't remember using a credit card in Fremont.
On March 30, Fremont Police filed an arrest warrant for Collins accusing him of credit card fraud and receiving stolen property. He was still in jail at the time.
In early April, Collins made bail and was released; however, it is unclear exactly when.
On Wednesday morning, a patrol officer for the Salem Police Department was notified of a stolen vehicle in his area. It was a Ford F-350 pick up truck that was reported stolen out of Haverhill, Mass.
When the officer put on his siren and emergency lights, he reported the driver of the truck refused to stop.
A pursuit ensued, during which the driver allegedly passed vehicles on the left over a solid double yellow line and went around a construction detail on a one-lane road, nearly hitting two police cruisers and other vehicles in the process, as well as drove through a backyard.
Police attempted to use spike strips twice to stop the driver, but the pursuit continued through several towns, traveling at least 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
The chase lasted between 20-25 miles and ended when the suspect drove onto the trails under the power lines in Chester. Police later found the pick up truck stuck in the mud in the area of Pomp Road.
A foot chase and manhunt ensued, at which point police were able to identify their suspect as Collins, based on a description the Salem officer observed during the car chase.
Hours later, a Derry police officer located Collins in the woods in the area of English Range Road, 2-3 miles from where the truck was abandoned.
Police followed him to a nearby swamp where a State Police K-9 unit and the Derry officer took Collins into custody around 5 p.m. He was taken to Parkland Medical Center for evaluation.
The charges Collins is facing in connection to the above incidents, by town, are:
Theft of a motor vehicle (class A misdemeanor)
Credit card fraud (class A misdemeanor)
Receiving stolen property (class A misdemeanor)
Resisting arrest/detention (class A misdemeanor)
Theft of a motor vehicle (class A felony)
Receiving stolen property (class A felony)
Disobeying an officer (class A misdemeanor)
Reckless operation (violation)
Reckless conduct with a deadly weapon, three counts (class B felony)
Collins is scheduled to be arraigned on the most recent charges in Derry district court on Friday morning. He's currently being held on $5,000 cash only bail.