ROCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – Businesses along Route 11 in Rochester, N.H. were evacuated Sunday night while police searched for a man they described as “armed and dangerous.”

The incident was reported around 5:30 p.m. on Farmington Road.

Police on scene searching for a suspect near a Walmart in Rochester, N.H. (WBZ-TV)

People were asked to avoid the area after a 911 caller told police they saw a man in the woods with a rifle. Officers responded and the suspect ran off into the woods.

Two SWAT teams were called in. No injuries have been reported.

Christopher Thomas. (Image Credit: Rochester Police)

Rochester Police have identified the suspect as Christopher Thomas. He is described as a white man in his late 20s. He is about 5’8″, weighing 150-160 pounds with a beard and mustache.

There were initial reports the evacuations were due to an active shooter. Rochester Police posted on social media that “there is no active shooter anywhere.”

Christopher Thomas inside Walmart in Rochester. (Image Credit: Rochester Police)

Police believe the suspect lives in the woods behind Walmart and Market Basket.

Rochester Police said they have a history with the suspect. He has several outstanding warrants for shoplifting and making threats toward police.

Thomas has allegedly shoplifted from Walmart in the past, police said. But this is the first time he has been seen with a weapon.

“We have a history of him stealing from Walmart. And if he was just to go in there with a high-powered rifle, that’s concerning,” Rochester Police Cpt. Jason Thomas said.

Anyone who sees Thomas is urged to call 911 and not approach him.

“Customer and associate safety is our top priority,” Walmart said in a statement. “While nothing took place on our property, we quickly placed our store on lockdown at the request of the Rochester Police Department. We’ll assist the authorities however we can as they continue their search.”


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