• Woman accused in Wilder robbery
     | December 05,2013
    Eric Francis photo

    Lea Dundas of Lebanon, N.H., is arraigned for the armed robbery of Cumberland Farms in Wilder last month.

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A New Hampshire woman has denied a charge that she robbed the Cumberland Farms in Wilder at knife-point to get money for heroin.

    Despite an alleged written confession to police, Lea Dundas, 19, of Lebanon, N.H., pleaded innocent Tuesday in White River Junction criminal court to a felony charge of armed robbery.

    Court records, quoting witnesses pumping gas at the Cumberland Farms on Tafts Flat shortly before midnight Nov. 24, said the store clerk ran outside yelling “I”m being robbed!”

    A petite figure in “skinny jeans” and Ugg boots was carrying a green plastic bag and heading for the snow-covered woods behind Blood’s Seafood, the witnesses said.

    Toby, the Windsor Police Department’s canine, led officers to a place where footprints were seen in the inch of snow on the ground. Police said they came to a spot where about $40 in bills and change, along with several packs of cigarettes, had been dropped.

    Hartford Detective Christopher Aher said Toby led them to a small house on Advent Lane in Wilder, where a resident told police that a young woman without a coat knocked on her door and said she’d stomped off after an argument with her boyfriend and got lost.

    The resident gave the woman an old jacket and a ride to a friend’s house, where police found her the next day.

    Aher said Dundas initially claimed she hadn’t gone near Cumberland Farms, but eventually wrote a confession.

    She wrote that she’d had a fight with her boyfriend and told him to let her out of his truck the night of the robbery, court records said.

    “I was really angry and dope-sick while I was walking,” the alleged confession said. “I just kept thinking about how I have nobody in the world and I was so sick I walked by the Cumberland Farms then I decided I had nothing to lose so I ripped my hat and pulled it over my face.”

    The statement continued, “I don’t remember all the details but I ran behind Cumberland Farms and fell down a steep ravine. I had a plastic bag with the money in it and gloves, a hat, and the knife in my pocket. They fell out and I don’t know where they went. ... I was really scared. I couldn’t believe that I actually did that and I was freaking out.”

    The alleged confession said Dundas got $150 from the robbery and she bought heroin the next morning. “I shot up and momentarily felt better, then about an hour later the Hartford Police showed up to question me,” the statement said.

    After Dundas’ arraignment Tuesday, Judge Karen Carroll ordered her to “take the first bed that comes available” at a drug rehab facility and then to return to court for a review of her release conditions.

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