December 7, 2013

Biddeford armed robbery spree ends in suicide

Tyler Trottier, 27, shoots himself in the chest inside his downtown King Street apartment as police try to negotiate his surrender.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — The Tyler Trottier that friends knew was courteous, hardworking and honest – not the serial robber who killed himself Thursday night as police closed in on his King Street apartment.

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Police tried to negotiate with Tyler Trottier, 27, the suspect in a string of robberies, at 12 King St. in Biddeford.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

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Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre speaks with the media at the Biddeford Police Department on Friday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Those friends were stunned to learn Friday that the 27-year-old was the one who had been terrorizing local businesses through a string of 10 holdups since Thanksgiving. Then, as police tried to negotiate his surrender, he shot himself in the chest.

“He had never had issues in the past, no history of anything – not even a burglary or a theft,” said Ann Harris, a family friend, who said she was puzzled and saddened by Trottier’s death. “He wasn’t like that. He didn’t steal stuff from people ... I know he had a gun. I don’t think he would have ever shot anybody.”

“All you’d have to do is look in this dude’s eyes and you’d know this was totally out of character,” said Hoss Coddens, who worked with Trottier in the restaurant business in Kennebunkport years ago and stayed friends. Coddens now owns his own Old Orchard Beach restaurant and said Trottier was dedicated to his landscaping business.

“He was a working man,” Coddens said, recalling how Trottier would sometimes show up in his restaurant covered in dirt from heard to toe, but always respectful. “I knew Tyler. This wasn’t him ... It’s a tragic end to a scary situation,” he said.

Police say they may never know what prompted Trottier to commit armed robberies from Arundel to Saco, though mostly in his own downtown Biddeford neighborhood. The investigation will continue, Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre said at a news conference Friday morning.

“It could very well be emotional rather than drug dependence. He had some emotional issues going on in his life,” Beaupre said, though he would not elaborate.

Police believe Trottier acted alone but continue to investigate to determine if anyone else was involved.

There is still a chance that someone else was involved in some way with the robberies.

‘HE WAS VERY RELAXED’ 

Trottier’s final robbery was at May Mee Chinese Restaurant on Main Street at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Anna Lin was working the counter when a man entered and placed a grape soda on the counter and asked how much it was. Lin was aware of the robberies and had even imagined herself running out the back door or hiding in a back room if she saw a man with a ski mask – which was part of an earlier description – coming in the door. But Trottier, whether out of resignation or cockiness, had stopped wearing a mask. The man in front of her seemed a normal customer, and wasn’t agitated at all she said.

He fumbled in his pocket for what she thought was the $1 for the soda, then pulled up a pistol.

Lin said she let out a brief scream. Her co-workers, who were eating lunch behind the restaurant, thought she had spilled something.

The robber calmly told her to be quiet and to give him all the money in the register.

“He was very relaxed,” she said. “He just said ‘Be quiet and get the money.’ ”

She quickly handed him cash, which police said later was about $60.

He walked out of the store with the money and soda, then started running up Main Street.

Police had been bracing for another holdup. The robberies had been occurring about once a day – sometimes twice – in the week since Thanksgiving and they worried the robber might at some point use the gun he had been flashing.

Business people were on edge.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre speaks with the media at the Biddeford Police Department on Friday.

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Police located Tyler Trottier’s pickup after it was caught on surveillance video leaving the scene of a robbery Thursday.

 


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