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Vermont armed robbery suspect who eluded capture using a car, bike, tractor, sailboat and kayak is arrested

A Vermont armed robbery suspect who police say eluded capture in the past week in a vehicle, on a stolen bike, on foot and in a stolen sailboat was arrested Thursday after he was spotted in a kayak on a river, authorities said.

Eric Edson, 52, was wanted on accusations of a robbery of a store in Burlington on Aug. 24, impeding and assaulting two police officers, and the theft of a sailboat and vehicles, police said.

Police say Edson was also spotted driving a stolen John Deere tractor, CBS affiliate WCAX-TV reported. Surveillance footage also showed him driving a stolen dump truck which he later abandoned, the station reported.

“Because of the unusualness of Mr. Edson’s various modes of flight, from cars to bikes to paddle boards to sailboats to tractors, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Mr. Edson is a dangerous person,” Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said Wednesday.

On Aug. 30, Burlington police responded to a man passed out in a running vehicle that matched the description of one used in a robbery a week before, they said. When officers roused him, he fled at a high rate of speed, assaulting both officers with the vehicle, police said.

That evening, he fled police on foot and then on a stolen bicycle before stealing a sailboat on Lake Champlain, police said. Edson was intercepted by the Coast Guard. But after the sailboat ran aground at the base of lakeside cliffs, he fled, authorities said.

Vermont State Police received a tip Thursday that he was spotted in a kayak on the Lamoille River in Georgia, Vermont, about 21 miles away from Burlington. Edson landed the kayak, ran away and then jumped into the river and swam to the southern shore, where he was arrested by troopers and game wardens, police said.

“This suspect was an individual that displayed a propensity for violence and it certainly put the community, the public in a sense of unease,” said Vermont State Police Sgt. Michael Filipek.

Edson was taken to the hospital for evaluation of his injuries from being on the run, state police said. He is expected to be arraigned Friday.

An email was sent to police seeking to find out if Edson is being represented by an attorney.

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