By John Collins
NASHUA -- Police say a Pepperell man phoned in a bomb threat to the Kohl's department store in an attempt to help his wife escape store security in a price-switching scam at the store.
He was arrested with his wife less than an hour after the bomb threat was made, police said.
Matthew Chapman, 36, and Alicia Chapman, 27, both of 60 Nashua Road, were arrested on July 21 just after 7 p.m., Nashua police Lt. Francis Sullivan said. Matthew Chapman was charged with false reports as to explosives, a Class B felony, and criminal liability to theft by deception, a misdemeanor; Alicia Chapman was charged with theft by deception, a misdemeanor.
At 6:18 p.m. on Saturday, the Nashua Police Department received a report of a bomb threat at a local department store, which led to the evacuation of the store, Sullivan reported.
"The responding officers identified the individual who made the threat by cellular phone from outside the store as Matthew Chapman, and subsequently arrested him," Sullivan stated. "No bomb or explosives were located."
Alicia Chapman was being detained by Kohl's loss-prevention officers for an alleged theft a short time before the alleged bomb threat was made, according to the police report.
"It was reported (Alicia Chapman) was removing price tags from clothing in the store, then replacing them with price tags of lesser value. She then purchased the items at the reduced price," Sullivan said. "It was also reported that Matthew Chapman assisted his wife by exchanging price tags on clothing, and providing the (repriced clothing items) to her prior to exiting the store, while she purchased the clothes."
Matthew Chapman was held through the weekend before being freed on $5,000 cash bail after his arraignment Monday in Nashua District Court. Alicia Chapman was released on personal recognizance pending her scheduled arraignment Aug. 6.