Burlington Police still searching for armed robbery suspect

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 3:26 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington Police are still searching for an armed robbery suspect who led officers on an unusual chase starting Wednesday morning.

Police in Burlington’s New North End could be heard yelling for 52-year-old Eric Edson to stop as he fled the area on a stolen bicycle, but it wasn’t the first time.

It started Wednesday morning when police responded to do a welfare check on Edson, who they say was passed out in a running car.

Officers say when they arrived and woke him up, he became combative.

“They approached and recognized that vehicle as one we believe had been involved in a robbery in the South End of Burlington last week. They roused the man inside the vehicle. He immediately became belligerent and uncooperative and ultimately fled in the vehicle,” said Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad.

Murad says two officers suffered minor injuries when the car pulled away. He says the department did not pursue Edson when he took off. “We’re often able to apprehend people at later points. We often have an idea of who a person is or where that person may go and that often outweighs the risk that is posed to the public in the process of actually having a vehicle and a vehicle pursuit,” he said.

Eric Edson
Eric Edson(Photo provided)

Police were able to find the car at the North Avenue Co-op but say that a short time later Edson took off again, this time on a bicycle.

Nearby residents say seeing the large police presence was a shock. “Let’s just say I was up most of the night last night worrying that this man was going to bust into my house, I think we all were,” said one woman who asked that we not identify her.

Police were once again able to track Edson down after residents near Appletree Bay on Lake Champlain said he used a paddleboard to steal a sailboat. They say Edson crashed into Rock Point, fleeing into the trees along the shore.

“There’s very little shoreline at the base of the cliffs on Rock Point. He was in a position that was only accessible by water and the boats that were available to us could not get in that close to the shoreline owing to the shallowness and the presence of rocks -- the same rocks on which the sailboat had gotten hung up,” Murad said.

Police suspended their search for Edson on Rock Point early Thursday morning. They are urging the public to call with any sightings and also say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

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Burlington Police involved in standoff with armed robbery suspect