Robbery suspect arrested within minutes

PDT Sports Report

June 6, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Thanks to a member of the public calling Portsmouth Police and informing them of the whereabouts of a robbery suspect, Portsmouth Police were able to take a man into custody within minutes of a robbery Thursday afternoon. Arrested was Michael T. Shepard, 26, of West Portsmouth.

“He walked into the US Bank on Gay Street. There was a female at the ATM,” Lieutenant Jason Hedrick said. “He talked to her briefly, and when the money came out, he grabbed her by the arm, and then reached in and grabbed the money from her and took off running.”

A foot chase ensued.

“He was arrested inside Long John Silvers after quite a lengthy foot chase,” Hedrick said.

Hedrick also credited the quick response by so many police officers. He said the incident occurred during a shift change around 4 p.m., which brought a large turnout.

“The day turn officers were on, the afternoon shift officers were on, and she (victim) had a witness that actually followed him from where he robbed her,” Hedrick said. “The witness called in that he was at J.J.’s (Convenient Mart) buying cigarettes. Once the officers got close to J.J.’s he went out the door. They got into a foot chase with him, and after the foot chase he went into Long John Silvers and that’s where officer Nate Williams made the arrest.”

Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said the slogan “See something…report something,” is not just for homeland security issues. He said anyone who sees a crime or someone being sought by authorities should call the police and tell them. Thanks to the witness who followed Shepard Thursday, police were able to make a fast apprehension.

“They got all of the money except for what he used to buy cigarettes with,” Ware said.

“He will be charged with robbery and felony obstructing,” Hedrick said.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.