PAWTUCKET — For several hours on Tuesday night, Pawtucket Police negotiators attempted to coax an armed robbery suspect out of the Annette Avenue residence where he was believed to be residing. And for several hours, police received no response from the suspect.

But once Rhode Island State Police entered the home to search for the suspect, they discovered that he was nowhere to be found, and now police are actively seeking the man who allegedly held up a salon at gunpoint on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier on Tuesday, around 1:17 p.m., a masked intruder armed with a rifle barged into oMa Hair Design at 251 Cottage St. According to the police dispatch log, the armed suspect wearing a black ski mask and gloves took off in a silver Toyota Camry and was last seen on North Bend Street.

Police were able to identify the suspect in the armed robbery at the salon as 31-year-old Dustin French of Pawtucket. Detectives, along with patrol officers, responded to an address on Annette Avenue where they suspected French may have been residing. Additionally, a person leaving the house informed police that French was inside the residence, police said.

A perimeter was established around the residence and a Pawtucket Police negotiator responded to the scene to attempt to speak with French, but was met with silence in response. Rhode Island State Police were notified of the situation and the State Police Special Response Team was dispatched to the scene, police said.

After several hours of attempting to reach French – and several hours of no response – the State Police Special Response Team entered the home to conduct a search. A full search of the Annette Avenue residence, however, yielded no suspect, as French was not inside when the State Police entered, police said.

Pawtucket Police are now seeking the public’s help in locating French. Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact Pawtucket Police at 401-727-9100; Police Det. Craig Letourneau at 401-727-9100, ext. 818; or Police Det. Trevor Lefebvre at 401-727-9100, ext. 700.

Jonathan Bissonnette on Twitter @J_Bissonnette

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