Wanted Burlington robbery suspect has long rap sheet

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 5:29 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Burlington robbery suspect who eluded police by car, bike, and boat this week is still on the run. But 52-year-old Eric Edson is well known to authorities, with at least 49 felony convictions on his record in recent years.

Eric Edson is currently wanted by the Burlington Police on charges of impeding and assaulting two police officers as well as theft and damage to a sailboat that he allegedly stole to get away from officers on Wednesday.

“This is a person who’s lived in Burlington for a very long time, has a very long history of engagement with law enforcement even in Burlington. Where is he now -- we don’t know,” said Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad.

WCAX has chronicled Edson’s criminal activity through the years as far back as 1987. He talked to reporter Brian Joyce in December 1998 about a stint he had served in a Virginia prison. “I think that corrections made a good decision when they said we’re gonna send some people to a real prison ‘cause we don’t have it bad in Vermont corrections,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t be in jail right now if I would have got a little taste of how prison really can be.”

Less than a year later, Edson was arrested again after a car chase with police from Winooski to Waterbury.

By 2008, when Edson was 37, he had already served 20 years in prison. That same year, he was in the news again as the target of a manhunt after suspected home invasions and burglaries in the Champlain Islands. He was sentenced in that case in 2010, telling the judge he was ready to stay crime-free and that he was a good person who often lost his battle with drugs and alcohol. “I just want to apologize,” he said. “I hope the court will give me another chance.”

Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph ultimately sentenced Edson as a habitual offender to serve 10 to 12 years in prison. “This has just gone on too long and I don’t see any hope for a change in behavior,” Judge Joseph said.

But that behavior has not changed. Since getting out after that 2010 sentencing, Edson has racked up at least seven more criminal convictions, and he’s facing more new charges, but police have to find him first.

Chief Murad says they are following leads and actively looking for Edson.

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