The robbery of a convenience store turned into a hostage drama in Hampstead early Monday morning.

Jose Robles, 39, allegedly held up the Xtra Mart on Emerson Avenue around 2:20 a.m. at gunpoint and left the store in a dark sedan, according to Hampstead Police Deputy Chief Robert Kelley. A short while later, the car was spotted by a patrol officer on Route 111 who pursued it for a short time.

The car turned into a driveway off Hickory Road, where Robles held a gun to the head of the driver, fiancee Camille Knox, 37, and threatened to hurt her, according to Kelley. The car took off but was located less than a mile away on Wellington Drive when police received a 911 call about a home invasion and several residents in the home being held hostage at gunpoint.

Several children and their grandmother were among those being held.

Trying to Make a Getaway

Despite several police departments and New Hampshire State Police surrounding the home, Robles unsuccessfully tried to have a member of the household drive him away and held a gun to the driver's head, Kelley said.

While police were keeping Robles inside the garage, members of the household made their escape. Knox told police that she and Robles are homeless and he was under the influence of cocaine and meth.

Robles took some pills and passed out, allowing police to take him into custody. The gun he was using was later found to be a BB gun.

He was arrested and charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, criminal threatening with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, criminal restraint burglary, and resisting arrest. Knox was charged with accomplice to armed robbery, disobeying an officer, and operating with a suspended license

They are both being held at the Rockingham County Jail pending arraignment on Tuesday at Rockingham County Superior Court.

Kelley said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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