Portsmouth, N.H. woman arrested after alleged pain pill robbery, getaway car crash

Portsmouth, N.H. police arrested a woman Sunday after she allegedly robbed her local convenience store of pain pills and crashed her sport utility vehicle into another car during her attempted getaway, police said.

A 911 caller from the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Islington Street reported Sunday that a woman dressed in a hat, sunglassses and gloves approached the pharmacy counter, passed the clerk a note demanding oxycodone, and made off with several bottles of the medication, said Portsmouth Police Sgt. Chris Roth.

Although no weapon was shown or mentioned in the note, the clerk complied with the woman’s demand to avoid any threat of physical injury, Roth said.


The 911 caller reported that the woman drove off in a white SUV, which a local police officer spotted on nearby Middle Street. As the officer tailed the SUV, the driver sped up and crashed into another car at the intersection of Lafayette Road and Andrew Jarvis Drive, resulting in minor injuries for an occupant in the other car, according to a statement from Portsmouth police.

The driver of the white SUV drove away from the crash scene into the Ledgewood Drive neighborhood. Outside an apartment building, a woman attempted to run from the SUV’s driver’s seat into the building but was caught by the police officer after a brief struggle.

Police arrested Cheryl Lees, 59, who was charged with robbery, possession of narcotics, conduct after an accident, disobeying police, and resisting arrest. Police said that they found bottles of pain medication and the hat, sunglasses and gloves used as the robbers’ disguise in Lees’ SUV.

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