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2 Accused of Stealing Over $1,000 Worth of Yankee Candles


Two Connecticut residents are facing felony charges after allegedly stealing more than $1,000 worth of products at Yankee Candle Village over Thanksgiving weekend.

Police in Deerfield, Massachusetts, say the pair, whose names have not yet been released, were first noticed by Yankee Candle staff as they were smuggling the candles out of the store in canvas bags.

Staff members attempted to stop them, but the two fled in a vehicle. The employees were able to get an exact license plate number and vehicle description, and then alerted police.

The pair was ultimately stopped by Whately police as the suspects were turning on I-91 southbound, and Deerfield police say officers were able to recover all of the stolen products.

Deerfield police say they're seeking felony larceny charges against the Connecticut residents.

Photo Credit: Deerfield Police Department

Trump-Pence Brokered Carried Deal Provides Calm in CT


The United Technologies (UTC) owned air conditioner-maker Carrier will keep up to 1,000 jobs in Indiana could have a lasting impact more than 800 miles away in Connecticut.

President-elect Donald Trump had said via Twitter on Thanksgiving that he was working with Carrier and UTC to keep the company’s plant that was slated to be moved to Mexico in Indiana. The move had been announced back in February of this year.

The fear in corporate circles was that the incoming Trump administration could leverage its position of purchasing power against UTC when it came to Carrier and UTC’s jet engine producing subsidiary, Pratt and Whitney.

UTC netted nearly $6 billion in profits in 2015, with much of that attributable to the production of engines by Pratt and Whitney for the US Military. There was concern that Trump would hold orders over UTC’s head in order to protect jobs in a different division where it made political sense.

Pratt and Whitney is considered a pillar of the aerospace industry, but perhaps more importantly, it’s part of the bedrock of Connecticut’s fragile economy.

Overall, UTC employs more than 14,000 people in Connecticut, and Pratt alone ad announced plans earlier in the Fall to add and about 8,000 new jobs in the state over the next decade. There is already a multi-year backlog on orders for the US and other international clients.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said of the notion, “The idea that you’re going to stop buying jet engines from Pratt and Whitney in order to punish Carrier for moving jobs, it’s just ridiculous.”

Carrier confirmed in a tweet that it had struck a deal, and CNBC reported that it was struck mainly with the help of Indiana Governor and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. CNBC also reported that Trump would travel to Indianapolis on Thursday.

Police ID Teens in $4K Vandalism to Store


Police said they have identified several rowdy teens who caused $4,000 worth of damage to a Hartford convenience store Saturday night.

Police said 30 to 40 teens entered the Shell Gas Station at 335 Capital Ave. after leaving a party, damaged and looted the store, then took off.

An adult and juvenile then arrived at the store, took items and caused further damage, according to police.

Police identified the adult as Travon Shirly, 21, of Hartford, and said he began fighting with officers. He was arrested and his juvenile companion was processed and released at the scene scene.

Hartford police released surveillance footage and said they have identified several of them thanks to their families, schools and the CTfastrak bus service.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Man Inappropriately Touched Woman at Southington Walmart: Police


Southington police arrested a man they say inappropriately grabbed a woman at Walmart.

The woman told officers a man bumped into her at the Queen Street store last Friday and that she assumed it was accidental. She said shortly after that, the man grabbed and squeezed her buttocks.

The victim pushed the man away and he left, getting into a vehicle and driving away before police arrived.

Officers were able to stop the vehicle and arrested Kenneth Johnson, 55, of Southington.

He was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and second-degree breach of peace. Johnson was released on $5,000 bond and is scheduled to be in court on December 5.

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Man Sexually Assaulted Woman While Returning Lost Dog: Police


A Bridgeport man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman after finding her lost dog and returning it to her. 

City officials said the alleged assault happened in July and 30-year-old Robert Rivera is accused of assaulting an 18-year-old woman. 

The victim lost her dog and Rivera found it, brought it to her and sexually assaulted the woman, according to police. 

Rivera told officers that he found the woman’s dog but did not rape her, police said, but DNA evidence connected him to the assault. 

Rivera was arrested on Nov. 23 and charged with first-degree sexual assault and unlawful restraint. 

He was released on $250,000 bond and is due in court on Dec. 2. It's not clear if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dash Cam Video of Pursuit Before Crash That Killed Boy


East Haven police have released video from a police cruiser dashcam that shows the pursuit of a stolen car that later crashed in Branford, killing a 4-year-old Hamden boy.

Police said 18-year-old Tyler Carey, of East Haven, was behind the wheel and driving erratically when East Haven police officers tried to stop the stolen white Toyota Corolla he was driving around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Carey fled and got onto I-95 North and East Haven police called off the chase before exit 55, police said.

Around two miles after police called off the chase, the Toyota hit a 2004 Honda Element head-on around, according to police.

Four-year-old Jairus Benjamin was sitting on someone’s lap and was not in a car seat when the crash happened and he was pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to police.

Six people were in car, including two Carey, a 24-year-old New Haven man and four children under 14 years old, including Jairus, police said.

Carey and two other passengers fled the scene before police arrived, leaving behind the 4-year-old, a 15-year-old boy and the New Haven man, according to police.

Carey ran into the woods and a police dog found him, according to police.

He has been charged with reckless driving, engaging in a pursuit, misuse of plates, second-degree larceny, first-degree reckless endangerment, risk of injury to a minor, failure to have headlights illuminated and driving in an improper lane.

He was held on a $500,000 bond and police said more charges are likely because of Jairus’ death.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police
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Thousands of Rabbis Attempt the #MannequinChallenge in NYC


Their attempt was ambitious, but when 4,000 rabbis took the so-called "mannequin challenge," the result was something less than statuesque.

The rabbis had gathered at their group’s headquarters in Brooklyn for their annual Chabad-Lubavitch conference, also known as “kinus.”

While taking the time to pose for their annual “class portrait” on Sunday, the group also filmed the thousands of rabbis attempting to do the #MannequinChallenge by standing completely still and in silence.

"It's hard to get thousands of rabbis to stay still, but we went for it," the organization said in a caption for the video.

While most participants followed instructions, not everyone complied. One man is seen sitting down in the beginning of the video while several others turn their heads or wave.

“Stop moving! He’s moving!” one man is heard yelling in the video, which can be seen on the Instagram account @chabadorg.

NYPD officers working security at the event also participated.

The gathering of Lubavitch rabbis has tried its hands at social media in years prior. Two years ago, the group took what they claimed to be the “world’s biggest selfie” using a large camera extender and fish-eye lens.

The rabbis work as emissaries of the Lubavitch sect in over 80 countries around the world, returning to Crown Heights every year for the conference.

Photo Credit: NBC New York via @chabadorg/Instagram

Doctor Accused of Sexually Assaulting Male Patient at Bridgeport Hospital


A Bridgeport Hospital doctor is accused of sexually assaulting a patient who went to him to be examined before having his wisdom teeth pulled. 

Dr. Louie Mar Gangcuangco, a 29-year-old resident, is accused of grabbing a 53-year-old man’s genitals, pinching his nipples and later asking the man if he wanted to go to out to eat, according to police. 

The patient has previously had open heart surgery and went to the hospital to be checked before having his wisdom teeth removed, according to police. 

The victim also told investigators that Gangcuangco called him to check on him after the wisdom tooth removal and offered to take him to 99 Restaurant and Pub, police said. When the victim refused, Gangcuangco asked the man to go to Red Lobster, according to police. 

Gangcuangco, a third-year resident, has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and was released after posting $75,000 bond. 

He is due in court on Jan. 5. 

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

Man Charged in Connection With Kidnapping, But Not Dog’s Death


Wethersfield police have arrested a man who is accused of beating his girlfriend and holding her against her will at a motel, but they have not filed charges in connection with the death of a police dog.

Officers responded to Motel 6, at 1341 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield, at 2:46 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21 after receiving a report that a man was holding his girlfriend against her will, according to police.

Police identified 20-year-old Chauncey Smith, of Hartford, as the suspect and said there was a protective order protecting the victim from him. 

When Smith saw the officers, he ran and Wethersfield Police Officer Nuno Martins and his police K9 Thor went after him, police said.

During the search, Thor got separated from Officer Martins and he was found injured around two hours later.

Thor was brought to an area veterinarian, but collapsed and died shortly after arriving at the vet, and an ultrasound indicated his injury was related to the search, police said. 

Hartford police found Smith in a large trash bin and arrested him on Monday. 

Wethersfield police charged him with interfering with police and violation of a protective order and held him overnight on a $100,000 court-imposed bond.

He has not been charged in connection with the death of Thor and that part of the investigation is ongoing, police said.

Police will hold a memorial for Thor and his two years of service to the community. It will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wethersfield Community Center, at 30 Greenfield St. in Wethersfield.

Photo Credit: Wethersfield Police

Burglary Suspects in Custody After Crash With Police


Two New Haven men suspected in burglaries are in custody after crashing into a police SUV on Interstate 95 in Milford this morning and officers are searching for one more person who ran from the car. 

Police said they received a call around 5 a.m. about a suspicious van on Naugatuck Avenue, in an area where burglars have been reported. The caller said the van was idling and it appeared people were loading the vehicle.

Officers went to investigate, but the driver fled abruptly, so the officer alerted other officers about the vehicle and one officer spotted the van at Naugatuck and Bridgeport avenues and followed it at a low speed to Boston Post Road.

Other police, including the K9 unit, were on the lookout on I-95 and the driver in the van lost control, spun out and hit a police SUV on I-95 near exit 39, police said.

Three people who were in the van ran and officers soon caught up with two of them, but the other remains at large.

Police arrested 20-year-old Kelvin Quintero and 20-year-old Noel Figueroa-Flores, both of New Haven.  

Both were taken to the hospital because one sustained minor injuries in the crash and police said Qunitero was also bitten by a police dog. Their injuries are minor and neither the officer nor the police dog were hurt.

They have been charged with third-degree larceny, third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, third-degree burglary, third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary and interfering with arrest.

Quintero is being held on $225,500 bond and Figueroa-Flores is being held on $210,500 bond .

The arrests come a day after police issued a warning about shed and garage break-ins in town and police said the van was loaded with stolen household items believed to belong to two victims.

Police said burglars have broken into around 12 sheds and garages in two weeks and stolen items, including snowblowers, chainsaws, generators, weed whackers and more. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Saudi Prince: It's Time to Let Women Drive


A member of the Saudi royal family issued a public call for women to be allowed to drive in the conservative kingdom, calling the longstanding ban "unjust."

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal took to Twitter late Tuesday, writing in Arabic and English: "Stop the debate: Time for women to drive." His tweet included a link to an opinion article arguing for the change that cited economic, social and religious considerations.

Alwaleed does not hold a formal position in the Saudi government but is an influential and wealthy business magnate. The billionaire leads the Riyadh-based investment firm Kingdom Holding Company, which holds stakes in several Western companies, including Twitter, Citigroup and Euro Disney theme park.

"Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity," Alwaleed said.

"They are all unjust acts by a traditional society, far more restrictive than what is lawfully allowed by the precepts of religion."

He also detailed the economic costs of women having to rely on private drivers or taxis, since public transit is not a viable alternative in the kingdom. Not only is the expenditure a financial burden to families who have seen revenues diminish in today's economy, Alwaleed argues, but using foreign drivers drains billions of dollars from the Saudi economy, he said.

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam. It is the only country in the world that does not allow women to drive, and women's rights activists have been detained for defying the ban.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP

Ohio State Attacker Visited DC


Days before an 18-year-old man plowed his car into pedestrians and stabbed people on the Ohio State University campus, he visited Washington, D.C., and bought a knife, sources tell NBC News and NBC 4 New York.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan visited D.C. late last week and bought a knife at a Home Depot store there, law enforcement officials said. 

Investigators said they do not know if Artan was planning an attack in D.C.

"It's a mystery at this point. Was he planning to do something here? Was it something else? We simply don't know," one official said.

D.C. has one Home Depot store, located on the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE. A man there who said he was a manager said he had not been contacted by law enforcement officials. 

Officials have said Artan bought another knife at a Walmart store in Columbus Monday morning, before he began the attack at Ohio State shortly before 10 a.m.

Officials said they do not know which knife he used in the attack that injured 11 people.

The FBI said Wednesday that it "appears" Artan was inspired by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, but cautioned that that conclusion was based on a Facebook post he wrote. 

"We don't yet know if he watched propaganda videos," one official said.

The effort to go through Artan's social media pages and electronic devices is in the early stages.

Stay with News4 for more details this developing story.

Photo Credit: Columbus State Community College / YouTube

Woman Arrested After Falsely Reporting Neighbor Had Weapons: Police


A false report about someone holding a gun and a knife brought around a dozen police officers in tactical gear to the apartments on West Beacon Street in West Hartford Wednesday morning, according to police.

Officers responded to West Beacon Street after a woman placed a 911 call at 9:48 a.m. and claimed her neighbor had weapons and was hitting a woman, then hung up, police said.

Police said they determined Diana Fuentes Centeno, 26, of Hartford, made the call and gave police false information so they would respond.

Centeno was charged with misuse of a 911 system, falsely reporting an incident, interfering with an officer, reckless endangerment and risk of injury because her child was present.

She is being held on a $50,000 bond and is due in court on Dec. 8.

West Beacon Street was closed between Prospect Avenue and South Highland Street, but has reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and West Hartford Police
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Police Search for Man Who Robbed Milford Bank


Milford police are searching for the man who robbed a bank this morning. 

A man robbed at Webster Bank, at 314 Merwin Ave., around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to police. 

He approached the teller and passed a note saying, “This is a robber, give me all the large bills in the draw,” according to a news release from police. 

He didn’t show a weapon and walked out the back door with the cash and went toward Dunbar Road. 

Police searched for the man, but lost him when the track ended at Dunbar Road and New Haven Avenue. Police believe he fled in a vehicle from there. 

Police are looking for a man in his late 20s or early 30s with a medium build and facial hair. He is around 5-feet-5 to 5-feet-7 and was wearing a gray winter cap and sunglasses, a gray and black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gillian Gallagher at (203) 783-4762, email ggallagher@ci.milford.ct.us or submit a tip online.  

The Connecticut Bankers Reward Association is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Photo Credit: Milford Police

Aquarion Asking Customers to Reduce Water Usage


It rained for several hours on Tuesday, but reservoir levels in western Connecticut are still low.

Waterbury’s reservoirs only increased by 1 percent for a total capacity of 45.5 percent, which is about 170 days of supply, according to Waterbury’s Water Department Superintendent Don Carver.

Cities like Bridgeport, Stamford and Greenwich received more than 1.5 inches of rain, but Stamford’s reservoir system still averages 33.8 percent capacity, with Greenwich’s system even lower at 25.4 percent.

Aquarion, the water company that services those communities, is asking customers to conserve water inside their home to try and reduce water use by 20 percent.

Much of the rain that’s falling is soaking into the dry ground and not providing enough runoff to make it to the reservoirs.

At this point, some community members are growing frustrated by the lack of rain and what they call, delayed response to the drought conditions.

“I think people haven’t been taking it serious and we didn’t approach it soon enough. We should have saw it back in June, July. We should have saw it last winter when we didn’t get snow. There’s no reason why we should have been this neglected to our own people,” said Omer Deabay from Bristol.

Customers are encouraged to conserve as much water as possible.

Authorities say it could be months before we get enough rain and snow to get out of the drought conditions.

Suspect Grabs Packages off Newington Home Porch

Ohio State Victim Says Attacker Vowed to Kill Her


Kerri Strausbaugh, a victim Monday's bloody attack at Ohio State University, was on her way to class that morning when she was suddenly surrounded by people screaming and running for their lives, NBC News reported.

After turning around to see what was happening, she says she locked eyes with Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the 18-year-old student who attacked several students on the OSU campus. Strausbagh said he told her, "I’m going to kill you," before slashing at her left arm and slicing through her skin.

She ran away from the attacker, finding safety in a nearby locked computer lab. Once inside, someone used a scarf to create a tourniquet for Strausbaugh’s bloody arm, which needed 12 stitches.

Photo Credit: AP

Attorney Brings Wine, Ascot to Anti-Trump Graffiti Party


Police say a Philadelphia assistant city solicitor was involved in anti-Donald Trump graffiti that was spray painted on a grocery store in the Chestnut Hill section of Philly.

On November 25 at 12:10 a.m. two men were captured on surveillance video vandalizing the Fresh Market at 8200 Germantown Avenue. The video shows one of the men spray painting the words ‘F*** Trump’ on the building while the other appears to take pictures or video. One of the men in the surveillance video also holds a glass of wine.

The two men then left the area on foot on Germantown Avenue. Investigators say the estimated damage the vandalism caused is between $3,000 and $10,000.

Police say Duncan Lloyd, an assistant city solicitor in the city of Philadelphia Law Department, is one of the men in the video though they have not yet confirmed whether he was the man who spray painted the building or the man who recorded the vandalism.

“We received a variety of tips,” said Northwest Detectives Captain Malachi Jones. “We’re talking to a variety of people and trying to bring this thing to rest.”

Craig Straw, the First Deputy City Solicitor, told NBC10 the Law Department is aware of what their employee is accused of doing.

“To my knowledge, Mr. Lloyd has already contacted the Philadelphia Police and is cooperating with them,” Straw wrote in a statement. “We will decide on a course of action once we obtain more information about the investigation. We do not condone this type of behavior from our employees.”

Joe DeFelice, the chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party, said that Lloyd should be fired for his actions.

“If the image of an upper-middle class city attorney clad in a blazer and sipping wine while vandalizing an upscale grocery store with an anti-Trump message strikes you as perhaps the most bourgeois sight imaginable, that’s because it is,” DeFelice wrote. “Nothing can better represent the hysterical pearl-clutching of the 'progressive' elite in response to this earth-shattering election, when residents of Chestnut Hill and similar neighborhoods across the country discovered – gasp – that other people have a voice too. The assistant city solicitor in question had ostensibly taken the law into his own hands, since a democratic election didn’t yield his preferred outcome.”

“For somebody with extensive legal training to feel entitled to vandalize a newly opened super-market strikes us at the Philadelphia Republican Party as an astonishing feat of idiocy. Did the extra glass of Shiraz give him some sort of delusional confidence that there are no cameras on Germantown Ave? The taxpayers should be entrusting exactly none of our faith into this man. He should be fired from our city’s law department immediately.”

Police continue to investigate the incident. If you have any information, please call the Northwest Detective Division at 215-686-3353/3354.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police

Principal Accused of Taking Photos of Little Girls at Wal-Mart Resigns


A Wethersfield elementary school principal who is accused of following young girls around a Hartford Wal-Mart and sneaking photos of them has resigned. 

John Bean, the 46-year-old principal of Highcrest Elementary School, was placed on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation in October.

Bean was arrested after police responded to the Wal-Mart on Flatbush Avenue in September and store staff members said he was following children in the store and “attempting to surreptitiously photograph them,” especially when they were not with their parents, the incident report says. 

One witness said the children were girls between 6 and 8 years old and Wal-Mart staff members said Bean, who has three children of his own, was holding a small toy and using it to hide his iPhone. 

The police officer who responded to the scene asked Bean what he was doing and he responded that he was shopping, but he did not have a shopping cart, according to police.

When the officer asked Bean if he’d been taking photos and following children, Bean diverted his eyes, tried to walk away as police said they were detaining him and he tried to resist arrest, according to the incident report.

The report says Bean never asked what was happening, but asked if he was under arrest and said he did not do anything. 

During questioning, police asked Bean to unlock his phone so they could clear things up, but Bean refused, according to police. Authorities seized the SIM card and send the phone to a lab to check what's on it.

Police also reviewed surveillance from the store and said it appeared Bean was looking more at the aisles and people than the store merchandise.

The principal was charged with interfering with an officer for resisting arrest and second-degree breach of peace, according to police. 

Police said they immediately notified the Wethersfield Police Chief, as well as security for the Wethersfield Board of Education when they started to investigate and the board of education took immediate action.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

WATCH LIVE: Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting


The Rockefeller Center tree is set to be illuminated tonight, and you can watch it live right here!

NBC will broadcast "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" from 7 to 9 p.m. EST. The 83rd annual ceremony will include live performances from Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Kelly and the Radio City Rockettes, and additional performances from Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban and Jordan Smith.

    But if you're looking to keep your eye strictly on the tree -- which is set to light at 8:55 p.m. -- you can watch the live stream above.

    Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY
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