Suspect in West Lebanon coin store robbery held without bail

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 07-10-2024 7:00 PM

WEST LEBANON — A 52-year-old man is being held without bail after police said he smashed a front window of a West Lebanon business and entered the store to grab handfuls of cash from behind the counter before he was nabbed while riding as a passenger on the back of a motorcycle on Route 12A.

Joseph Sharleville, of Hartford, has been charged with burglary, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of theft, criminal threatening and resisting arrest after he broke into and robbed money from Twin State Coin & Treasures at LaValley’s Colonial Plaza in West Lebanon on Monday afternoon, according to police.

Appearing via video from Grafton County jail in North Haverhill at his arraignment in Lebanon District Court on Tuesday, Sharleville was ordered held without bail until his next hearing date on July 16.

Police said they responded at 4:36 p.m. on Monday to a “burglary in process” called in by an eyewitness who reported that a “man who appeared to be on something” had “just busted the window of (Twin State) Coin and Treasures” and entered the business. The man was last observed walking along Route 12A away from Colonial Plaza, police said.

A Lebanon patrol officer then spotted a passenger who matched the description of the suspect riding on the back of a motorcycle heading north along Route 12A through the intersection with Benning Street.

The officer flagged down the motorcyclist, who told police — while other officers took the suspect later identified as Sharleville into custody — that he had picked up the passenger at the Sandri Stop Smart Sunoco after the man had asked for a ride and offered to pay for the cyclist’s gas.

During Sharleville’s arrest, police said they seized $612 in “crinkled up” bills from his pockets — another $40 was found in his wallet — and transported him in a cruiser to the Lebanon police station for booking.

At the same time, police obtained the coin shop’s in-store surveillance camera footage, which shows Sharleville “outside the store grabbing a parking sign,” using it “to break the front window” and then “going through the window before climbing over the counter and taking handfuls of cash out of the registers and placing it in his pocket,” according to the police affidavit in support of the charges.

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During his booking at the police station, Sharleville became “increasingly aggressive with officers, threatening to fight them if they came into the booking cage,” vowing after he got out of jail to track down the bail commissioner and kicking “the (cage) door hard without any shoes on causing a cut on his right big toe to open up,” police said.

Sharleville further resisted leaving the cage, leading officers to force him onto the floor, which led to Sharleville sustaining a “small cut above his right eye,” the affidavit reports.

During Sharleville’s arraignment, prosecuting attorney Tracy Connolly recited the defendant’s lengthy criminal history in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, pointing out that Sharleville had been wanted on a bench warrant issued by Seabrook (N.H.) District Court to face a felony forgery charge and a warrant in Lebanon to face a misdemeanor theft charge.

Sharleville’s court-appointed defense attorney, Sarah Rothman in the state public defender’s Concord office covering for the Orford office, said that the defendant had been suffering from a “recent relapse” in his drug recovery program and asked the court to release him on his personal recognizance with conditions. Rothman said her client has a paying job as a maintenance man working for his landlord and requires an income to support a 5-year-old son.

Judge Michael Mace, after hearing the prosecutor describe how the defendant had threatened the bail commissioner and had to be subdued physically by police officers during his booking, determined that Sharleville presented a “clear and present danger to himself and the community” and ordered him held without bail until his next hearing.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.