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Shoplifting Suspect Found More Than 2 Hours After Running from Police: Police


A 33-year-old New Britain man suspected in a shoplifting at Best Buy on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington on Nov. 29 was located hours later after running into wooded area, according to police. 

Police said they received a report of a shoplifting in progress at the store at 3377 Berlin Turnpike around 12:26 p.m. and officers found a man in the parking lot, but he ran away and into an area thick with brush and pricker bushes, police said. 

A police dog was not able to find the man because of poor weather conditions, but police located the suspect around two-and-a-half hours later. 

Police identified the man as Joseph LeGeyt and said he has been charged with sixth-degree larceny and interfering with an officer. 

He was released on a $25,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 13.

Photo Credit: Newington Police

Drizly Delivers Beer, Wine and Liquor to Your Door in Connecticut


Drizly, an online service that delivers beer, wine and liquor, is now available in Connecticut. 

The company is currently working with Wine Cellars 4 and Capital Spirits in Hartford and Beverage Boss in New Haven. 

It is also working with BevMax and LQR MKT in Fairfield County, serving Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich, Fairfield and Westport. 

Customers can try Drizly with the free delivery code: WelcomeCT. 

Learn more on the company’s web site


Moose Wanders Onto Vermont Farm, Attempts to Befriend Cows


A farm in northern Vermont got quite a surprise this past weekend when a moose snuck into a cow pasture and appeared to try to befriend the animals there.

Cattle ranchers Sharyn and Tim Abbott were returning to their Sheldon home from an outing when they noticed a creature had joined their herd. 

"I thought it was pretty cool," said Sharyn Abbott, whose Belted Galloway cows, Precious and Primrose, got up close and personal with the moose.

The Abbotts said the moose looked really healthy, and didn't appear to be in search of food or water.

"I think she was looking for companionship," Tim Abbott speculated.

At one point, the moose flopped down to rest not far from one of the cows, a picture shows. In another photo, the moose and one of the cows appear to have locked eyes, making the Abbots wonder what the animals thought of each other.

"It was a treat just to see the pictures, and get pictures close, and see how big and massive and tall they are," Sharyn Abbott said of the experience.

They said while one of their Belted Galloways, Primrose, was really friendly with the moose, the other, Precious, was much more hesitant.

"The brown one was scared to death of her," Tim Abbott said of Precious' tendency to avoid the moose.

A young child of a neighbor dubbed the moose "Molly," believing the animal needed a name.

After a full day of visiting, the Abbotts decided it was time to shoo Molly away. They explained they didn't want her getting injured or stuck in the barn if she attempted to enter.

The Abbotts also wanted to avoid the moose damaging some of the fences on their property, they said.

The Abbotts are now curious if the moose will ever come back.

"We watch for her every day, thinking she might show up again," Tim Abbott said, smiling.

We're guessing Precious and Primrose are thinking the same.

Photo Credit: Sharyn Abbott

New Haven Students Offer Gifts to Young Hospital Patients


Third graders in New Haven are hoping to lift the spirits of patients at Yale-New Haven’s Children’s Hospital this holiday season.

“Hope you feel better soon, wish you a lot of strength, from Aurora, go you, you rock,” Aurora Chevalier said, reading the get well card she wrote.

Her classmates from King-Robinson Interdistrict Magnet School in New Haven put together sixty care packages to be dropped off with patients next week.

“Because we don’t want nobody to feel like they’re left out and they’re left alone,” third grader Antoine Williams said.

The students learned about the Yale children’s hospital and then created custom comfort bags from t-shirt donations.

“There’s little stuffed animals for the kids who are sick to like snuggle with and stuff,” third grader Jayla Johnson said.

At the Friday morning Spread the Love assembly, the students presented the care packages to the gift coordinator from the hospital.

“And it touched my heart because I’m very philanthropic,” Scotti Williams, of Yale-New Haven Hospital said, “I give back to the community all the time so I think it’s wonderful and I think it’s great that the school is teaching them from such a young age to start now giving back to the community because every little bit helps.”

The stuffed animals came from the overflow of Sandy Hook donations.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Puppies Diagnosed With Parvo at Manchester Rescue Facility


Some dog adoptions are on hold at a busy facility in Manchester.

Three puppies from a recent litter brought back from Tennessee developed an intestinal illness.

Those same puppies, recently adopted from “Save All Dogs, Inc.” were diagnosed with the parvovirus, a highly contagious illness resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters were alerted to the problem by one of the puppy’s new owners.

Kristi Glowacki's concern prompted the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to follow up.

Glowacki paid more than $400 to adopt an 8-week-old Boxer mix on Black Friday.

“He’s basically my baby. I definitely would not be doing this if i didn’t feel that way,” Glowacki said.

Three days after Glowacki brought "Alpha" home, the dog got sick.

“Between the constant IV, he can’t keep any fluid in. He won’t eat at all. He has to get x-rays of his intestines just in case those are having a block. He needs extra medications because he can’t keep anything in on either end,” Glowacki told NBC Connecticut after taking the dog to the vet of her choosing in Cheshire.

Alpha’s treatment will cost more than $4,000, according vet bills Glowacki showed the Troubleshooters. The first bill alone totaled more than $1,900.

“Our accountant already mailed out a reimbursement check for that amount,” Chris Carty, co-founder of "Save All Dogs" said. The Troubleshooters verified Glowacki received that payment.

Alpha is not the only sick dog. Of the five boxer puppies brought up from Tennessee last week, three tested positive for the K9 parvovirus.

Carty and adoption associate, Katie Kelleher, say all of the puppies received a clean bill of health before they were put up for adoption.

“When they were checked by our vet there were zero signs, zero symptoms. No one could have known they were incubating the disease,” Kelleher said.

Carty said his organization will help the owners of the sick puppies with vet bills. That money, he says, will come from his other business, “The Dog House,” which is run out of the same building, but operates independently from “Save All Dogs, Inc.”

“We’re able to help Kristi and this other gentleman through funds that will be given to us by The Dog House.

“Save All Dogs Inc.” also implemented a voluntary quarantine of 15 other dogs.

Thursday morning, officials with the Department of Agriculture followed up on Glowacki's complaint to the Troubleshooters.

“We did an inspection of the facility. We checked their medical records on imported animals and everything was in compliance," Raymond Connors, animal control supervisor for the Department of Agriculture said. "They have self-quarantined on advice of their veterinarian on the rescue dogs they’ve had come in on that transport from Tennessee. Our department will be doing a formal quarantine of that facility just for the rescue dogs that did come in on that transport. No dogs can go in or out of that area for 10 more days.”

Carty says he hopes this doesn’t discourage families from adopting his animals.

“It is an unfortunate situation and this disease can be devastating. I don’t feel we’re at fault. It’s a lose-lose situation because we’re saving these dogs basically from kill shelters down south, and trying to find them homes up here,” Carty said.

The Troubleshooters have learned in the almost year they’ve been in operation, “Save All Dogs, Inc.” received one complaint that resulted in a written warning for a violation for failing to provide vet exams within 48-hours of being brought back to Connecticut from Tennessee. It is a step that is required by law.

Carty responded to the Troubleshooters with a statement about the violation.

“In April of 2016, Save All Dogs received a frantic call from a Tennessee rescue group that dozens of dogs were going to be euthanized if they weren’t rescued immediately after being saved from an abusive hoarding situation. Save All Dogs immediately traveled to Tennessee on a Sunday, rescuing them, and bringing them back to Connecticut. Due to the fact that this happened over the weekend, our veterinarian was not able to examine the dogs within the required 48-hour period, but did so within 60 hours. This was a risk we were willing to take as the alternative was death for these dogs. Today these animals are living in loving homes where they have been given a second chance at life."

The Department of Agriculture says complaints like Glowacki's need to be reported directly to them.

They also recommend people do their research before adopting a pet. Check with their office, records are always available.

Photo Credit: Kristi Glowacki

Trader Joe's Hummus Recalled Over Listeria Concerns


Bakkavor Foods USA is recalling two kinds of Trader Joe's hummus over concerns about possible Listeria contamination, which can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in young children and the elderly.

The recall applies to Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus and Trader Joe's White Bean and Basil Hummus sold in 30 states with "USE BY" date codes up through and including Dec. 15. The products come in 16-ounce plastic tubs with SKU numbers printed on the top labels and "USE BY" date codes stamped on the bottom of the tubs, along with the plant identification code "C."

There haven't been any reports of illness, and Bakkavor Foods USA said it implemented the voluntary recall as a precautionary measure.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.

Click here for a list of affected products and states, as well as information on obtaining a refund.  

Less than two weeks ago, Sabra Dipping Company issued a voluntary recall for a variety of its hummus products over similar Listeria concerns. That recall affects hummus products that were made before Nov. 8, 2016, and sold across the United States and Canada at supermarkets and other stores.

Photo Credit: Handout

Stepping Up Minority Teacher Recruitment in Connecticut


Principals, Human Resources directors and superintendents from the state’s major urban school districts gathered for two days in New Haven to meet with representatives from historically black colleges and universities about bringing their graduates to Connecticut for education jobs.

“To discuss how we can create a pipeline of minority teachers from the south up to the north to get into our classrooms,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the NAACP of Connecticut, which co-hosted the symposium with New Haven Public School.

Debbie Breland grew up in North Carolina and graduated from Fayetteville State University.

“Being an HBCU graduate I was recruited to New Haven back in 1987 to come teach high school English,” Breland said.

Almost thirty years later, Breland is now the New Haven School District’s minority teacher recruitment coordinator.

Only about a quarter of teachers in New Haven Public Schools are black and Latino, while minorities make up 80 percent of the student population, Breland said.

“There aren’t a lot of minorities going into education as they used to be,” she added.

Officials from the state’s Department of Education addressed the guests from the HBCUs.

“So that they would understand the certification process in Connecticut and they can take that information back and try to make it even with their educational programs to ready their students to come to Connecticut to become teachers,” Breland said.

Beyond recruiting education majors from the south, Breland said the district hopes to inspire its own students to consider careers in education.

“I have a daughter who is a senior in high school and she aspires to be an elementary school teacher,” Breland said, “so I’m adding to it by growing my own, so eventually she’ll be in a classroom teaching autistic children.”

Retirements are partly to blame for the dwindling number of minority teachers in urban school districts, Esdaile told NBC Connecticut.

New Haven is hoping to recruit minorities to fill both teaching and administrative positions, Breland said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Sandy Hook Families, CT Politicians Push for Mental Health Reforms


Congress could pass the first major healthcare reform since the Affordable Care Act next week.

The US House of Representatives approved the measure with bipartisan support last week and the US Senate is expected to take up the bill next week, and possibly send it to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.

"This bill authorizes several important new programs that will help identify mental illness sooner,” said Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy during a press conference Friday.

The 21st Century Cures Act includes key elements of the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 which was championed by both of Connecticut’s US Senators.

There was also pressure from Sandy Hook Promise, a group that includes families of victims from the 2012 massacre.

Mark Barden, who lost his son Daniel in the Newtown shooting, said the reform “will offer life-saving solutions.”

The reforms include more access to providers by incentivizing “one stop shopping” for mental health services when considered in the broader context of healthcare.

Sen. Murphy said there are incentives , “So you don't have to go to one provider to get your knee fixed and another provider to get your brain treated."

If it becomes law, there would be more access for family members to a mental health patient’s records under certain circumstances. Murphy says confusion over privacy laws has led to families being left out of the loop when their input or intersection could have been beneficial.

"The legislation puts parents back in the game when their adult children are struggling by making it clear that parents can share information with parents of adult children when it's in the best interests of that patient,” Murphy said.

Even though the law falls well short of being able to insure that no mass shooting happens in the future, Barden says he wishes the law was in place prior to December 2012.

"My son's killer was suffering mental illness,” he said. “We know his mother didn't know what to do with him and I will tell you I lie awake at night thinking if something like the mental health reform act of 2016 was in place then that the quality mental healthcare would have been available to him."

Liberal senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have opposed the reforms, saying the broader health bill provides gifts for pharmaceutical companies.

Murphy says he hopes enough members vote across party lines to ensure the bill makes it to President Obama’s desk during the lame duck session.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Skateboarder Hit by Vehicle in New Britain


Police are investigating after a man was hit by a vehicle in New Britain and seriously injured on Thursday.

The man was riding a skateboard just after 5 p.m. near 20 Franklin Square when he was hit, according to police.

Police said Friday morning that they were trying to identify the man, but now know who he is and are notifying the man's family.

His name has not yet been released.

The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

Anyone with information should call New Britain police at 860-826-3071.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Man Hit and Killed While Delivering Newspapers


A 64-year-old Jamaican man is dead after he was hit by a pickup on South Main Street while delivering newspapers in West Hartford early Friday morning.

Police identified the man as Belford Muir, 64, of Jamaica, and said he was visiting family for an unknown amount of time and sometimes delivers Hartford Courant newspapers with his son.

Officers responded to the scene after receiving a report around 6:38 a.m. from someone who said CPR was in progress.

Muir was driving a Honda Accord, which was parked on the right side of the road, and police said he was crossing the street when a Ram 1500 pickup hit him.  

Police officers and firefighters provided medical assistance and Muir was transported to Hartford Hospital, but was soon pronounced dead, according to police.

Police said Muir was working for an independent delivery company contracted to deliver the Hartford Courant and other newspapers.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of everyone involved in today’s incident, which involved an independent  delivery contractor,” Andrew S. Julien, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Hartford Courant, said in a statement.

This is the fourth fatal pedestrian crash in the state in less than 24 hours.

Ashly Ferguson, 31, of Middletown, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-95 South in Old Lyme Thursday when she got out of her car to check on a child in the back seat. 

Bryan Nagel, 49, of Hartford, was struck while crossing the Bulkeley Bridge in Hartford on Thursday night. 

Twenty-year-old jeremy Mercier, of Enfield, was struck while riding a skateboard on Route 5 in Enfield around 1 a.m. Friday. Police are still trying to identify the driver who hit him.

Nearly 300 people have been killed in car crashes in the state this year.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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In 2015, Health Spending Surges in the U.S.


In 2015, Americans spent $3.2 trillion on medical expenses, up by 5.8 percent since 2014, NBC News reported.

Experts say there are also indications that health spending increased because people sought medical treatment for diseases they previously ignored because of lack of resources, according to a report released Friday by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Spending on prescription drugs also surged last year, with a nine percent increase since 2014.

"Recent rapid growth was due to increased spending for new medicines (particularly for specialty drugs such as those used to treat hepatitis C), price growth in existing brand-name drugs, increased spending on generics, and a decrease in the number of expensive blockbuster drugs whose patents expired," the CMS report read.

Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Pet Parrot May Serve As Witness In Murder Case


In Michigan, one pet owner may rue the day she adopted her parrot.

Glenna Duram is currently on trial, charged with murdering her 45-year-old husband Martin on May 12, 2015. Bud, her African grey parrot, is the sole witness to the crime. And he’s been vocal about what he saw.

"Don't f---ing shoot," Bud said on a video recorded by family members weeks after the killing, NBC News reports.

"That bird picks up anything and everything," Martin’s mother, Lillian Duram, told Today in June. "He's got the filthiest mouth around."

The local prosecutor previously told NBC affiliate WOOD in Grand Rapids that he has not ruled out putting the African Grey parrot on the stand.

Duram, who survived what prosecutors believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, is charged with first-degree murder.

Photo Credit: WOOD

Police Respond to Reports of Armed Man in Vernon Home


A portion of Route 83 was shut down in Vernon Friday night after police responded to a 911 call reporting an armed man at home on Union Street.

Police said the caller said the man was armed with a handgun and threatening to commit suicide. 

When officers arrived on scene, the man exited the house holding a revolver and acted in a threatening manner towards responding officers.

Police said they were able to contain the man, but had to shut down the road for about 30 minutes while they negotiated with him.

The man was taken into custody and brought to Rockville General Hospital for psychiatric treatment, authorities said.

Police removed several other firearms from the home.

Family members who were inside the home at the time of the incident were able to exit safely. There were no injuries and the incident remains under investigation.

The identity of the man was not made immediately available. No charges have been filed at this time. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sarah Palin Warns of ‘Crony Capitalism’ After Trump Deal


An unexpected dissenting voice came out Friday against a Trump administration brokered deal to keep a Carrier plant in Indiana and save around 1,000 jobs, NBC News reported.

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in an op-ed for the Young Conservatives website called the deal, which was reportedly negotiated by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, an example of government intervention that could lead to "crony capitalism."

"Republicans oppose this, remember? Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember?" Palin wrote. "Because we know special interest crony capitalism is one big fail."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Professor Stabbed to Death at USC


A professor stabbed to death on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles on Friday was identified as psychology Professor Bosco Tjan, university officials said.

Tjan was killed Friday afternoon at the University Park Campus in the Seeley G. Mudd building, officials said. A student was arrested in connection with the death, officials said. He was identified Saturday morning as 28-year-old David Jonathan Brown of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police said.

Tjan served as a co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center and was an expert in perception, vision, and vision cognition. He joined the USC faculty in 2001.

"We are extremely proud of our Department of Public Safety officers for their quick response, and our university counselors for immediately offering support at the scene," C. L. Max Nikias, USC's president, said in a statement. "As the Trojan Family mourns Professor Tjan’s untimely passing, we will keep his family in our thoughts. We encourage anyone in need of support to reach out to Student Counseling Services or the Center for Work and Family Life. On Monday, our dean of religious life, Varun Soni, will bring the campus community together for reflection and prayer."

The university's Trojans Alert emergency texting service quickly put out a message urging students, faculty and employees to stay away from the Seeley G. Mudd building, which houses science and medical classrooms.

"Police-related incident in progress at Seely G. Mudd. No danger to USC or the community. Stay away from the area," the text read.

The 10-story building is in the heart of campus near the school's running track.

USC was rocked last year by the beating death of a graduate student who was attacked by several people as he walked back to his off-campus apartment late at night after attending a study session.

Xinran Ji, a 24-year old engineering student, managed to return to his apartment, where his roommate found him.

In 2012 Chinese graduate students Ming Qu and Ying Wu were shot to death as they sat in their BMW about a mile from campus.

After Ji's murder USC officials sought to reassure parents of Chinese exchange students that the campus and its surrounding areas are safe.

USC has 44,000 students enrolled, including more than 10,000 international students.

A highly competitive school, it enrolled only about 16 percent of the more than 54,000 people who applied for its freshman class this year.

NBC4 wire services contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: USC

New London Touts Port, Railway As Way to Build Economy


Ports and railways. Those are the two key projects the City of New London wants to invest in to make the area competitive for trade and commerce.

New London Mayor Michael Passero teamed up with Senator Richard Blumenthal and the Connecticut Port Authority Friday to talk about plans to build up the port and freight rail service in New London. They didn't announce any specific projects, but say new jobs and new business is what they're after.

"(New London) was the richest city, the most prosperous city in the state because of this port. Because of this asset," Passero said, adding the state and federal governments have since failed to recognize the importance of the port in the city.

Applying for money for better lighting, fixing the rails and finding better ways to move cargo can go a long way, said Scott Bates, chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority.

It would also keep more trucks off the road, Blumenthal said, touting how using the ports or trains are less expensive and more environmentally friendly options. It also could New London very competitive on a global scale.

Currently the port only receives a shipment every three weeks, according to Joe Salvatore, program manager for the Connecticut Port Authority. He wants that number to ramp up to one shipment per week. But he understands it will take time.

All three leaders said the investment could create thousands of jobs, both permanent and temporary.

"You're talking about construction jobs, then we get more shipping in here, you have longshoreman, you have truckers, you have people who run the restaurants down the hill," Bates said.

The Connecticut Port Authority is still working on a proposal, but Bates says it will ask for millions of dollars.

"So we can get the port moving to its full capacity," he said.

One possible plan is creating a commercial fishing pier.

"We buy all whole fish and we struggle to get our hands on a lot of this stuff most of the time. Availability of the species that we buy is not always there," said Shawn Overend of The Mystic Fishery/The Fishery.

Overend said these fisherman are bound to a lot of restrictions. But he is cautiously optimistic about a potential new commercial fisherman pier opening up in New London to provide even more purchasing options.

A recent $8.2 million grant will also help increase the New England Central Railroad's freight-carrying capacity that starts in New London and services Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Canada.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Sandy Hook Group Begins Violence Warning-Signs Campaign


A group formed by families who lost children in the Sandy Hook school shooting has started a new public service campaign designed to teach people to recognize the warning signs of someone who may be contemplating gun violence.

The Know the Signs campaign from Sandy Hook Promise includes the launch on Friday of a new 2 ½-minute video public service announcement designed to show how easy it is to overlook at-risk behavior.

The group's founders include Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden. Both had 6-year-old sons who were among the 26 people killed by a gunman inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

The PSA can be viewed on YouTube.

Photo Credit: AP

Search Continues for Hit-and-Run Driver in Enfield


Enfield police continue to search for the driver who hit and killed a skateboarder early Friday morning.

Jeremy Mercier, 20, was hit while trying to help a friend, according to police.

“I didn’t sleep last night at all,” Brian Kozieracki said.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. right outside Kozieracki's Enfield home on Route 5.

“It startled us, jumped out of bed, like what was that? And looked out the window and saw something or someone laying at the end of our driveway,” Kozieracki, said.

Kozieracki rushed to call 911.

He said he and his wife never saw the car that hit Mercier and then sped away.

Now a memorial stands near Orbit Drive where police say Mercier died.

He had been skateboarding around 1:00am when he was hit by a car, creating a horrifying sound.

“It’s a terrible tragedy that occurred and we’re doing everything we can to locate the person who was involved,” Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said.

Loved ones say Mercier had jumped on his skateboard to bring a can of a gas to a friend who had run out.

As he headed out on the several-mile trip, he was hit just around the corner from his home.

Those who considered Mercier family say the young man had tough past but a bright future.

They, police, and the community have a message to the driver to do the right thing now.

“It only gets worse if you hide from it and you don’t take responsibility,” Kozieracki, said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Enfield police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

NYC Man Steals Bus to Go for a Joyride (Again)


Some people steal sports cars when they want to joyride. Others boost a motorcycle.

Nickolas Ellias allegedly prefers the bus. 

Police said they arrested Ellias, 24, of Staten Island, for stealing an MTA bus from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George sometime between midnight and 3 a.m.

He was spotted driving the bus and later arrested.

Ellias was caught doing the same thing in June 2014 and arrested then as well. At the time, his foster father reportedly said the young man was obsessed with buses. 

He is facing charges of grand larceny auto and criminal mischief in the current case. 

Ellias's case recalls another, more famous New York City transit thief - Darius McCollum, 51, who has been arrested more than 30 times for stealing buses and trains. 

Car, Bibles Stolen From WWII Vet in Windsor


A WWII veteran and widower is asking for the thief who stole his car and Bible to bring them back.

Paul Cassarino is part of the "Greatest Generation.” At 22-years-old, he served in WWII with the 447th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Corps.

"I flew 30 bombing missions over Germany," said Cassarino.

Then in 1945, he says he married the most beautiful woman he's ever known. Phyllis took his breath away for the next 69 years.

"Dementia took over for her and eventually she just passed away without any pain. Just like she went to sleep," said Cassarino.

In the last three years he lost his wife and his daughter. Cassarino says he visits Phyllis' grave twice a day and reads her passages from their Bible.

"I tell her how beautiful she is. I love her. How I miss her. How I always miss her," said Cassarino.

While getting ready to visit his wife's grave two weeks ago, the 94-year-old says someone went into his open garage on Farmstead Lane in Windsor, found a set of spare keys on a hook, and took his car along with everything inside it.

"That car means everything to me," said Cassarino.

Since the veteran's car was stolen, his son drives him around, but Cassarino can't go to the cemetery as often as before. And the items that were inside the car, including three Bibles, mean a lot to him.

To try and get it all back, Cassarino wrote a letter to the person responsible:

"This is an open letter to the person who stole my 2001 Mercury Sable station wagon from my garage ....

"My car is my survival for transportation to empty trash at the landfill, to go to the grocery store, go to my church, and to go to the cemetery every day to visit, talk and read the Bible to my late wife. In my car were my Bibles that my wife and I read together and that I would take to the cemetery to read to her; my tools that I have had for over 50 years; my personal belongings and other memorabilia that is priceless to me. My English version daily reader of the Vulgate Bible New Testament was especially dear to her and me. I read it to her every day when we were together and took it every day to the cemetery to read to her."

"I appeal to you to return my car together with its contents of my walker, tools, glasses, sun glasses, umbrella and 3 bibles. Please."

Cassarino hopes his plea reaches the person who took them and that everything is brought back.

"Whoever you are, that was a very cruel thing that you've done," Cassarino said.

Cassarino's silver 2001 Mercury Sable station wagon had a license plate of 816 RHP.

He says he's having a particularly hard time finding a replacement for his Vulgate Bible.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Windsor police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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