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Wednesday, October 17 News

Police: Neighbor helps nab car thieves

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Police are crediting an alert neighbor in helping them catch two teens who stole a car from a Mill Plain Road home early Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Click play to hear the 911 call.

Media: Connecticut Post

FAIRFIELD — Police are crediting an alert neighbor in helping them catch two teens who stole a car from a Mill Plain Road home early Tuesday morning.

Thanks to the real-time observations deliver by the neighbor, who police said remained calm throughout the incident, two 17-year-olds from Bridgeport were arrested after crashing the stolen car on Tunxis Hill Road.

The incident unfolded just before 3 a.m., when the woman called 911 to report several suspicious men wearing dark, hooded sweatshirts, walking up and down her own driveway and neighbors’ driveways. Then while she was on phone with dispatchers, she saw a neighbor’s car being backed out of the driveway.

Officers were able to quickly locate the car near Mill Plain Road and tried to stop the vehicle. After a short pursuit, officers were able to deploy spike strips to stop the chase. The car was traveling south on Tunxis Hill Road when it failed to negotiate a curve at the intersection of Kings Highway East and hit a utility pole. The driver fled on foot but was taken into custody near the collision. The passenger had to be extricated from the car by firefighters.

“We are grateful that no innocent people were injured in our attempts to take the suspects into custody,” Lt. Robert Kalamaras said. “The police department would like to express their appreciation to the caller for remaining calm and relaying clear observations to the officers responding to the scene.”

While the incident remains under investigation, Police Chief Gary MacNamara said he believes one of the teens involved in this case was arrested in Bridgeport a few months ago in another car that had been stolen from Fairfield. “Last year we saw an increase in the amount of stolen cars, and it’s very concerning to see that trend appears to be continuing,” MacNamara said.

In fact, two other cars were reported stolen Tuesday morning from an Unquowa Road home, a white Acura and a gray Toyota. Police are investigating whether the thefts are connected with the Mill Plain Road incident.

Both teens were taken to area hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

They were both charged with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, third-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny, and conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny. The driver was additionally charged with engaging police in pursuit, reckless driving and operating under suspension.

The two are scheduled to appear in juvenile court on May 15.

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