Police capture fugitive in Fryeburg

By Lisa Williams Ackley

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — A suspect wanted for being an accomplice to an armed robbery in Conway, New Hampshire last week was captured here late Tuesday night, after police from four law enforcement agencies surrounded the house in Fryeburg Village where he had been hiding out.

A 21-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were allegedly confronted by three individuals on Jan. 19 in a parking lot at Davis Park in Conway, where they were beaten up and threatened with a knife. The two alleged victims, who police said knew their attackers, were transported to the hospital, after being repeatedly punched.

Fryeburg Police received a tip from the Conway Police Department that Denest Banner, 36, of Tamworth, N.H., was staying at an apartment in a building located at the intersection of Smith and Maple Streets here, according to Lieutenant Michael McAllister. Banner was arrested Jan. 24 and transported to the Oxford County Jail in South Paris, where he is being held as a fugitive from justice.

Banner faces charges in New Hampshire of criminal liability for the conduct of another, while Ivan Felder, 42, of Center Conway, who turned himself in to police on Tuesday, is alleged to have committed the armed robbery that netted the thieves $150 in cash and some prescription drugs as well as the female victim’s wallet. The third suspect, 31-year-old Samantha Burns, of Bartlett, N.H., was apprehended the day after the robbery and charged with two counts of criminal liability for the conduct of another, as she is alleged to have driven the getaway vehicle, police said.

Banner surrendered to police Jan. 24, just as Maine State Police Trooper Adam Fillebrown “announced” that K-9 Karo was coming into the apartment, Lt. McAllister said.

“On Saturday, the Conway Police came to Fryeburg to check the residence and Banner was not located, at that time,” the lieutenant stated. “We went over last evening (Jan. 24) and got a consent search. With the assistance of the Maine State Police, we went in and found Banner in a back storage area. He was getting ready to give himself up, when he heard the (police) dog,” which was barking in a loud, aggressive manner. “He was giving himself up, as we entered the building,” McAllister said.

Eleven police officers from Fryeburg Police, Maine State Police, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and Conway (N.H.) Police surrounded the building where Banner was staying and secured it, before Troop Fillebrown told Banner “he was sending the dog and entering the building,” McAllister said.

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