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Smash-and-Grab Burglar Stole Candy, Cigarettes: Cops


Police arrested a suspect in a smash-and-grab burglary at a Hamden convenience store on Friday.

Desmond Howard, 20, of Hamden, has been arrested on several charges, including burglary.

A Hamden police officer "discovered a burglary" at Minute Mart at 280 Circular Avenue  on Oct. 17, police said in a news release. Howard threw a brick at the window to break the glass and entered the store, stealing merchandise including cigarettes and candy, police said.

Police recovered stolen items from Howard's "temporary residence on Gorham Avenue," according to police.

Howard, 20, of Hamden, was charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief and sixth-degree larceny.

Police held him in custody on a $25,000 bond. Howard is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Oct. 31.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Police Search for Bridgeport Burglar


Police are searching for the man who burglarized City Sound Electronics in Bridgeport last week and looking into whether the same person has committed several other commercial burglaries in the area.

Police responded to a burglary at 1094 Main St. around 6:30 a.m. last Thursday and detectives were able to get a photo of the man from security footage inside the store., police said.

Now, they are looking into whether the same man is responsible for several other recent commercial burglaries in the immediate area.

The man appears to be in his late-30s or 40s and has a thin to medium build and a goatee.

During the City Sound burglary, he was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black sneakers.

Anyone with information about his identity is asked to call Detective Joseph Badolato at 203-581-5241.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

New Canaan Police Warn of IRS Scam


A prevalent IRS scam has hit New Canaan and police are warning residents not to fall for it.

Residents have reported getting calls from a man who identified himself as an “IRS Officer” named Steve Martin and it’s a scam, according to police.

The caller has an Indian accent, according to police, and the calls appear to be computer-generated, but other calls seem to have been initiated by live callers.

The State Attorney General and Department of Consumer Protection have been warning the public against falling victim for the scam.

In some cases, the callers know your personal information, including the last four digits of your social security number and bank account number.

If you receive a scam call, hang up immediately and never send money, the IRS says. If you actually owe on your taxes, the IRS will mail you a written notification, and will never reach out through an unsolicited phone call.

Scam victims are encouraged to report calls to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Police warn residents not to give personal information, including dates of birth, social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and computer passwords, over the telephone or electronically to people you do not know.

They urge residents to be suspicious of unsolicited telephone calls, voice messages and/or e-mails and not to call the unsolicited callers back.

Always check information that a caller provides to ensure it is accurate and legitimate and avoid conversations with unknown callers.

Never wire or send money to unknown caller who makes an unexpected demand.
New Canaan residents who need help can call police at 203-594-3500.

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Senior at Pomfret School Dies in Crash in Canada


An 18-year-old senior at the Pomfret School died in a crash over the weekend near his home in Canada, school officials said.

Joseph Robichaud, who was set to graduate in 2015, was a hockey player at the boarding school nestled in the “quiet corner” of northeastern Connecticut, according to the Canadian publication Le Journal Express.

He struck a billboard in the Monteregie section of Quebec on Sunday night, L'Express reports.

Now the school is in mourning.

“The Pomfret community is deeply saddened at the passing of Joe Robichaud ’15,” the Pomfret School posted on its Facebook page. “Joe was truly an exceptional young man who touched many lives during his time at Pomfret.”

Members of the school community will remember Robichaud Friday evening at the Clark Memorial Chapel. Memorial services have been planned in his Canadian hometown, with public viewing times arranged for Saturday and Sunday and a funeral set for Monday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family at this very difficult time,” the school wrote.

Photo Credit: The Pomfret School

Route 8 North Closed in Derby


Route 8 North in Derby is closed by exit 16 due to a multicar crash.

State Police and the local fire department have responded.

No information has been released on whether anyone was hurt.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stonington First Selectman Steps Down


The first selectman in Stonington is stepping down at the end of November.

Edward Haberek, Jr., who has served as first selectman for the past seven years, posted a statement on his personal Web site Tuesday announcing his departure.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead the Town of Stonington and treasure the opportunity to serve you during my time in elected office. Serving in elected office has great satisfaction, but also a great toll and results in many good people choosing not to enter this arena,” Haberek wrote.

“I dedicated a significant amount of time and effort which resulted in a difference and my career and family in this position. I have made my ‘public life’ public and look forward to returning to the private sector and having my ‘private life’ private,” he continued.

Haberek said he hopes his successor will continue leading the town by being “visible, approachable, and accessible.”

He previously served as academic director and marketing professor at the Briarwood College school of business, now the Lincoln College of New England, in Stonington, according to his Web site. Haberek has also worked at Fortune 500 companies including Becton Dickinson and DuPont.

His last day in office will be November 30.

Photo Credit: Town of Stonington

"Don't Touch My Girlfriend"


While taking part in Early Voting in Chicago on Monday, President Barack Obama was interrupted at his electronic polling station by a man with a lighthearted word-of-caution.

"Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend," the man, later identified as Mike, quipped as he crossed the room.

Standing beside Obama at her own polling station was Mike's clearly embarrassed girlfriend, Aia Cooper.

"You know, I really wasn't really planning on it," Obama replied with a chuckle. "There's an example of a brother just embarrassing me for no reason."

Obama added: "Now you'll be going back home and talking to your friends about this. ... I can't believe Mike, he is such a fool."

After a moment the pair finished with their ballots and the president went toward Cooper for a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

"Now you're really jealous," Obama said, smiling and pointing at Mike.

The president was in Chicago on Sunday and Monday attending fundraisers and offering support to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is in a challenging campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner.

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Man Found Dead in Manchester Committed Suicide: Police


A 54-year-old man found dead in his Manchester home on Monday committed suicide, according to police.

A neighbor went to the home on Bissell Street to check on the man after not seeing him for a few days and found his body late Monday afternoon.

Manchester police Capt. Christopher Davis said police were called to the home around 4 p.m.

Police obtained a search warrant, searched the house and crews remained at the scene until around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. A State Police Major Crime Squad also responded to investigate and process the scene.

Neighbors said police went door-to-door in an effort to learn more about the case, but couldn't glean much information.

"We just don't know what's going on yet," said Jennifer Brundrett, who lives nearby and saw police cars when she was driving  through the area.

NBC Connecticut is not releasing the man's name. The medical examiner determined that the death was a suicide.

Detectives have left the scene, but the area was still cordoned off with caution tape on Tuesday morning. The cause of the man's death is unknown, but the untimely death investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Driving With Baby Rear Ends Fairfield Police Chief


Fairfield police Chief Gary MacNamara is in the hospital undergoing tests after his cruiser was rear-ended by a local woman driving with a 7-month-old child in the backseat, according to police.

Fairfield police spokesman Lt. James Perez said MacNamara was driving on Reef Road around 9 a.m. Tuesday when a BMW slammed into the back of his unmarked cruiser. MacNamara’s car was pushed forward into another vehicle ahead of him.

The BMW then crossed the street and struck a brick building next to the Firehouse Deli. No one in the building was hurt, Perez said.

MacNamara was conscious at the scene and was concerned about the other people involved in the crash. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he is undergoing tests. His cruiser was struck so hard, the driver’s seat slid back on impact, according to Perez.

The woman driving the BMW and her child were also taken to the hospital but appear to be OK, Perez said. The third driver was shaken up but uninjured.

Two accident reconstruction teams are at the scene investigating the cause of the crash. Perez said the woman’s cellphone has been confiscated as evidence. It’s unclear whether distracted driving played a role or if she suffered a medical problem.

No charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

Masked Robbers Abduct New Haven Man in His Own Car


Four masked men, one with a knife, stole the car of a 49-year-old New Haven resident and drove him around the city for an hour, demanding his money and valuables, according to police.

Police said the victim returned home from work around midnight Oct. 18. As he pulled into his driveway in the city’s Fair Haven neighborhood, four masked men confronted him. One demanded money and another brandished a knife.

Three of the robbers went through the victim’s pockets and the fourth punched him the face, according to police. The robbers then forced him into his backseat and drove off in the car.

After an hour, the robbers got out and ran away on Grafton Street with the victim’s iPhone, cash and gold necklace, police said.

The victim showed up at a Verizon store around 2 p.m. Saturday, nearly 14 hours after the attack, to shut off service to the stolen phone, authorities said. It was only then, when a store associate urged him to report the incident, that he called police.

Police said the victim could not provide a physical description of the robbers and told investigators he would not be able to recognize them if he saw them again.

Authorities are actively investigating.

Vets Test Nina Pham's Dog for Ebola Virus


A team of specially-trained veterinarians started testing Ebola patient Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, for the virus.

Dallas Animal Services has been carrying for Bentley in isolation. To date he has been healthy and still shows no symptoms of the virus.

The City of Dallas tweeted new pictures Tuesday of Bentley playing with the vet.

The veterinarians started testing Bentley's waste for signs of Ebola virus Monday.

Bentley will remain in isolation until Nov. 1. He's being monitored for a full 21-day period, similar to humans who've been exposed.

No word on when Pham will be released from the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

In response to the outpouring of support around the world for Bentley, the City of Dallas partnered with Dallas Companion Animal Project to establish the Dallas Pet Emergency Transition Services (PETS) fund. The donations will help Bentley and other pets in similar emergency situations in the future.

To donate visit DallasAnimals.org and click "You Can Help" or CLICK HERE to donate to the Dallas PETS (Pet Emergency Transition Services) Fund.

Photo Credit: City of Dallas via Twitter
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Fire at Foran High Started in Trash: Officials


Foran High School in Milford was evacuated for about half an hour on Tuesday afternoon because of a small fire in a third-floor bathroom, according to fire officials.

The fire was reported at 12:22 p.m. and triggered the fire alarm, according to Milford Fire Capt. Greg Carman. The fire was in the trash and caused some minor damage in the room.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze quickly, officials said, and gas meters were used to check the area

Crews deemed that it was safe for students to be allowed back inside as of 12:52 p.m.

No injuries are reported. The fire marshals will be investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Indefinite Delays on Metro-North’s Waterbury Branch


The Waterbury branch service is delayed indefinitely because of a disabled train, according to a Tweet from Metro North.

Bus service is en route.

Milford Police Search for Bank Robber


Police are searching for the masked man who robbeda bank in Milford last week.

According to police, the suspect entered the Webster Bank at 314 Merwin Avenue around 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16. He took out a white shopping bag and ordered a teller to fill it with cash.

The suspect left through the bank's back door and got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

He's described as a stocky man standing 5 feet 10 inches tall. Police said he was wearing a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, dark caro pants, blue latex gloves and a dark knitted face mask.

Anyone with information is urged to call Milford police at 203-783-4729 or submit a tip online.

Photo Credit: Milford Police Department

State to Sell Prisoners Cold Case Playing Cards


The state is calling on prisoners to help solve cold cases by offering them playing cards with information on unsolved homicides and missing person cases.

The cards, which include a photo of a victim,
a brief description of the case and how to submit a tip, are the only ones sold in prisons.

This is the third time the state and the Department of Corrections are releasing this type of playing cards.

"Cold case playing cards are a valuable tool assisting investigators working to solve these difficult cases and achieve justice for the victims of these crimes and their families," Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane said in a statement.

State officials said the cards are not paid for with taxpayer dollars. Revenue from sales is used to produce subsequent decks so the project is self-sufficient.

The Department of Correction sold different decks of cold-case cards to inmates in 2009 and in 2012. The cards have generated more than 470 tips and arrests have been made in nine homicide cases featured on the cards. 

Members of the public are also encouraged to view the cards and to share any information they might have about any of the cases. See the cards here.

Submit information by phone at 1-866-623-8058, by email at cold.case@ct.gov or by mail at P.O. Box 962, Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Justice
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Officials Accused of Not Reporting Student-Teacher Sex Face Judge


A Stamford High School principal and assistant principal are heading to court today, accused of failing to contact authorities about a sexual relationship between a student and teacher that first came to light last December, according to police.

Police arrested 32-year-old English teacher Danielle Watkins in July after learning that she had been sexually involved with an 18-year-old student and supplied him with marijuana, authorities said. She has pleaded not guilty.

Stamford High School Principal Donna Valentine, 62, and Assistant Principal Roth Nordin, 59, have been charged with failing to report the situation to authorities and will appear in court.

According to police, “several independent sources” informed administrators of the relationship as early as December 2013 and the school conducted its own investigation without contacting the Department of Children and Families.

Police began investigating the administrators in August and Valentine and Nordin have been charged with failure to report, which is a misdemeanor offense.

Watkins is accused of having sexual relations with the student between September 2013 and June 2014 and threatened to fail him in her class if he broke off the relationship, according to police. She was subsequently placed on administrative leave.

Man Dressed for Country Club Steals Golf Clubs


A well-dressed thief in Glastonbury apparently didn’t waste any time before using the items he stole – surveillance footage shows him grabbing golf clubs from open garages and tucking them into a golf bag, according to police.

He appeared to be dressed for the country club. Police said the burglar showed up in a polo shirt, dark windbreaker, khaki pants and dress shoes.

He took golf clubs from six homes in the south and southeastern part of town, then left in a brick-red colored 2000 Acura and Lexus with stock wheels, according to police.

The garages showed no signs of forced entry.

Anyone with information on the thefts is urged to call Glastonbury police at 860-652-4269.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Search for Clues About Hartford Hit-and-Run


A Hartford woman was injured in a devastating hit-and-run crash back in September and now police are hoping the public will be able to help solve the crime.

Authorities just released surveillance video from an apartment building on Pliny Street in Hartford.

The footage shows the victim crossing the street when she was hit by the car and knocked to the ground. She's seen lying in the middle of the road, apparently unconscious, after the crash.

Police said the woman then woke up and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Initially, the victim didn't tell realize she had been hit and speculated that she may have suffered an epileptic seizure, according to police.

Suspecting something more might have happened, the victim tracked down video captured by a surveillance camera on the street. Only then did she discover that she had been struck by a car.

Now that police have the video, they’re hoping someone will recognize the vehicle and come forward with information to help them make an arrest.

“When we got that video we were able to determine obviously that it needs a little more resources. We have our Major Crimes Division assisting with the investigation now, with the officer, so hopefully we can move forward and find the car,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley, of the Hartford Police Department.

If you have any information about what happened, call Hartford police.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Hartford Shooting


Police have arrested the man accused of shooting and killing a 33-year-old Hartford resident over the summer and say he's also connected to a shooting in May.

Cleveland Brown, 21, of Hartford, has been charged with murder in the June 11 shooting death of Tyron Taylor, who was shot in the chest on Vine Street early that morning.

He is also facing charges in connection with the shooting of a 22-year-old man on Garden Street the afternoon of May 27, police said. The victim, who was initially listed in critical condition, has made a full recovery.

Brown was arrested Sept. 23 on charges of first-degree assault and carrying a pistol without a permit. He was charged with murder on Oct. 21.

2-Alarm Condo Fire Breaks Out in Cromwell


A two-alarm fire at a condo complex in Cromwell caused heavy damage to one unit and smoke damage to a couple others, according to the fire department.

Firefighters were called to the Cromwell Hills condo complex on Cedarland Court around 4:16 p.m. Tuesday after flames broke out on the second floor.

Officials said the fire spread into the attic and a second alarm was struck. Smoke detectors went off and all residents made it out safely. Firefighters had the flames under control within 15 minutes.

One condo sustained moderate to heavy damage, firefighters said. Residents of that unit will have to make other housing arrangements for at least the night. It's not clear how many people live in the affected condo.

Authorities are investigating but said the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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