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Mom, Son Steal $9K in Items From Neighbors on Thanksgiving


A mother and son from Milford are facing charges after breaking into their neighbors' house and stealing thousands of dollars in valuables on Thanksgiving Day, according to police.

It happened just hours after the family brought them a plate of turkey dinner, according to the victims' daughter, Crystal Strain.

Police said 50-year-old Laurie Eddings and 31-year-old Christopher Warren stole a house key from Strain, who lives with them, and used it to unlock the apartment across the street Thursday evening.

According to court paperwork, Eddings is unemployed.

Strain said her family had left Thanksgiving dinner for Eddings and Warren and gone across town to celebrate the holiday with other family members. The suspects took that opportunity to make their move.

"I just dropped off a plate. I was like, 'How could you?'" Strain said. "I couldn't believe it, as much as we've done for them and helped them out."

According to court paperwork, Strain told police Eddings tried to box her out of her parents' apartment while the culprits rifled through a safe, stealing valuables worth thousands of dollars.

When she realized what was happening, Strain ran back across the street and called her mother, the paperwork says.

Meanwhile, Eddings and Warren emptied the safe and took cash, antique coins, expensive jewelry and electronics worth a total of $9,000, according to police.

"It's unbelievable," said Strain's father, Christopher, who also called the police. "I mean, you know, you're helping them out, bringing them to the store, back and forth, doctor's visits and stuff, and then to turn around and, you know, find your stuff in their house."

It turns out it wasn't the first time Eddings and Warren ripped off their neighbors. Investigating officers arrived at the suspects' apartment to find a second safe stolen at an earlier date, according to police.

Eddings and Warren were both arrested and charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit both.

Warren, who was on probation at the time of the crime, was additionally charged with third-degree criminal mischief.

A public defender requested in court Friday that Eddings receive psychiatric and medical attention.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Shooting at Chicago Nordstrom


A gunman shot a female temporary employee in a crowded Magnificent Mile store Friday before turning the gun on himself in what authorities describe as an attempted murder-suicide.

The shooting happened on the first floor of the Nordstrom's store, at 55 E. Grand Ave., shortly after 8:30 p.m. Police said they believe the victim was either the "girlfriend or ex girlfriend" of the gunman. 

Store employee Janis Tillman said she was in the shoe department when she heard a bang and dropped to the floor before hearing a second bang.

“I just heard two shots,” said Tillman. “We all ran. Everybody started running to the back of the store.”

The gunman died on the scene and the woman was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she remains critical condition as of 10 p.m.

“I was right around the corner when an eyewitness came out. I said, ‘What happened?’ She said, ‘I saw somebody. I saw the guy pull out a gun, shot her, and then he then shot himself,’" said shopper Bob Rogers. "She was shaken. Very shaken.”

The female victim was a seasonal employee of the store, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives John J. Escalante said.

Escalante said the incident was domestic-related.

"No other people who were in the store were shot or hurt," he said. "No other people who were in the store were threatened."

The store was evacuated of all shoppers after the shooting, and crime tape remained outside the store as of 10 p.m. A spokeswoman said the store would remain closed on Saturday as a show of support for the victim and to allow employees to regroup. 

"It's one of the friendliest stores there is," said Rogers. "You don't expect it to happen right here."

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago
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Man Tries to Cash Fake Check, Turns Violent in Bank: Cops


A Hartford man was hospitalized and taken into police custody after trying to cash a fraudulent check at a Suffield bank on Friday afternoon and then becoming violent in the lobby, according to police.

Police said 28-year-old Devone R. Cade, of Lenox Street in Hartford, entered the First National Bank of Suffield at 1380 Mountain Road around 2 p.m. Friday.

He tried to cash a fake check and then became "increasingly agitated" when an officer arrived, trying to run, according to police.

Cade struggled with police who tried to take him into custody, knocking furniture around the lobby and prompting bank employees to call 911 for backup, according to police.

Police said Cade continued to ignore the officer's orders until a second officer got there and together, they took him into custody.

Cade, who police say was found with illegal prescription drugs, was brought to a local hospital and then taken to police headquarters.

He was charged with interfering with an officer/resisting arrest, second-degree forgery, criminal attempt to commit fourth-degree larceny and illegally obtaining/possessing a prescription drug.

Cade was held on $10,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 1.

Girl, Grandpa Fight Over $2M


A 13-year-old girl and her grandfather are locked in a legal battle over a $2 million settlement awarded to the grandfather after the girl's father died while incarcerated on Long Island. 

The girl's father, Scott Eriksen, died in a fight with a correction officer in the Suffolk County Jail in 2005. The teen had never met her father and didn't learn who he was until after he died. 

The court awarded the money from a wrongful death settlement to the man's father. 

But now that the court knows about Eriksen's child, the teen's lawyer said the money belongs to her. 

"No matter whether he knew or didn't know of the existence of his granddaughter when he first received the money, he learned through the court of the existence of his granddaughter while the money still was in his possession, and he's since misspent it and dissolved it," John Ray told reporters Friday.

The grandfather faces a hearing next Tuesday. Calls to his lawyer were not returned Friday. 

Hundreds Search for Missing Student


A priest led more than 200 people at a Philadelphia church in prayer Saturday morning before the group resumed their search for 21-year-old Shane Montgomery -- a West Chester University student who went missing while out with friends the night before Thanksgiving.

"We pray that all those who are about to undertake this search have clear eyes and listening ears," the priest said.

Montgomery was last seen Thanksgiving Eve around 1:45 a.m. as he was leaving Kildare's bar along Main Street in the city's Manayunk neighborhood. His parents told NBC10 he was asked to leave the pub after he bumped into the DJ's table. Sources also told NBC10 there was a fight outside the pub.

Several hundred people volunteered Friday -- the day after Shane's family spent Thanksgiving without their youngest son.

"My heart is broken," said Shane's mother, Karen Montgomery.

"We're waiting for him to walk in the door, but you realize that each hour goes... it's just harder and harder," added Shane's father, Kevin Montgomery.

The ongoing search efforts led the Manayunk Development Corporation to cancel a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and caroling activities. Instead the organization held a candlelight vigil at the Canal View Park, located at Main and Connaroe streets, to call for Shane's safe return. The vigil began at 5 p.m.

The West Chester University senior and Roman Catholic High School alum had spent the night of Thanksgiving Eve -- an evening many friends reunite while home for the holiday -- barhopping with a few friends, Karen said.

She filed a police report after the Roxborough native didn’t return home.

Philadelphia Police do not suspect foul play, although his disappearance is considered suspicious. Authorities have used K-9s, helicopters and marine units to search Manayunk and Roxborough, as well as the Schuylkill River, which borders Main Street.

Family and friends have been unable to reach Shane on his cell phone, which was picked up by a cell phone tower in Lower Merion Township Thursday morning at 2:38 a.m.

The search party, which ballooned Saturday morning, met for the second consecutive day at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Rector Street. Officials split the group into 12 teams, who then fanned out across the northwest Philadelphia neighborhood.

Shane, who weighs about 140 pounds and stands 5-foot-11-inches tall, was wearing a buttoned- down gray shirt, gray hoodie and jeans when he left the bar. He also has a unique Celtic cross tattoo on his shoulder.

A $10,000 reward was being offered for reliable information leading to Shane’s safe return. Montgomery asked that anyone who sees him call her at 215-920-2569. Anyone with information is also urged to contact Philadelphia Police Det. Valentino at 215-686-3353/54.

The church, which is serving as the search party's staging area, held a mass at 6 p.m. for volunteers.

"The church opens their doors," Kevin said while on the verge of tears. "People bringing food. It's overwhelming." 

Photo Credit: Family Photo

Vernon Police Investigate Crash on Windsor Avenue


Police are investigating an overnight accident in Vernon.

The crash happened on Windsor Avenue close to midnight Friday into Saturday.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

"#ShopSmall" on Small Business Saturday


After many people flocked to big box stores for Black Friday, Saturday is a day for consumers to shop small for Small Business Saturday.

One small business welcoming customers on Saturday is The Paper Station in Newington, which is run by a brother and sister who have been in town for decades working to keep the downtown area vibrant. The store has signs up inviting people in, using the social media hashtag #ShopSmall.

With the rise of Black Friday and malls opening earlier than ever for holiday sales, small business owners say it's getting tougher and tougher to compete. Those businesses say they depend on Small Business Saturday and the holiday season to keep their doors open year-round.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Attempted Bank Robbery Suspect At Large


State police are investigating an attempted robbery at the TD Bank in the East Brook Mall in the Storrs section of Mansfield.

Troopers responded to the bank at 96 Storrs Road after the Eastern District Communications Center received a 911 call.

A man first attempted to open a bank account and then threatened to shoot people in the building if a bank employee he approached didn't give him all of the money in the bank, state police said.

The man implied he had a weapon, but didn't show one.  He ordered an employee to get money from the bank vault, but the money wasn't "readily available" and he left on foot without stealing anything after being confronted by store employees.

No one was injured.

State police said the man was described as 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall with dark facial hair. He was wearing a navy blue New York Yankees baseball cap, a hooded sweatshirt with stripes, gray sweatpants and white sneakers and was carrying a black backpack, according to state police.

If you have any information, state police ask that you call Troop C in Mansfield at 860-896-3200.

Photo Credit: State Police

Worker Shot on Black Friday Dies


The 22-year-old female Nordstrom's worker who was shot Friday night by her ex-boyfriend died at Northwestern Hospital Saturday night, according to officials with the hospital. 

Family members say she was shot in the back of the head and had a severe brain injury. 

The victim was working at the Nordstrom's store at 55 E. Grand Avenue on Chicago's Magnificent Mile at around 8:30 p.m. when her ex-boyfriend, identified Saturday as 31-year-old Marcus Dee, walked into the store. NBCChicago will not name the victim at the family's request. 

The two were seen having a conversation, according to a police report. She walked away from him and he shot her. He then shot himself in the head. 

Store employee Janis Tillman said she was in the shoe department when she heard a bang and dropped to the floor before hearing a second bang. “I just heard two shots,” said Tillman. “We all ran. Everybody started running to the back of the store.”

Dee died on the scene and the female victim was rushed to the hospital. The two appear to have a tumultuous history. 

According to court records, members of the victim's family unsuccessfully attempted to have a restraining order placed against Dee in April 2014.

A judge denied two requests. Dee and the victim dated for about a year in 2013 and broke up about a year ago, a victim's family member said.

The victim is from Florida, where her immediate family lives. She attends the University of Chicago. 

Shooting Suspect Paranoid: Sister


The sister of a man suspected of fatally shooting his parents Friday morning in a quiet Point Loma neighborhood said her brother suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

A man identified by numerous neighbors as 22-year-old Peter Haynes was arrested hours after he’s accused of killing his mother and father in Point Loma and forcing a neighborhood to go into lockdown.

His sister told NBC 7 that her brother is severely mentally ill. She had posted a picture two weeks ago on her Facebook page with her brother showing her how to hold a gun.

Kimberly Haynes doesn’t see the photo as troubling — instead, she sees it as a bonding moment between her and her brother.

“It’s very difficult to get close to him and one of the ways he and I connect is by teaching each other how to bond,” Haynes said.

Early Friday morning, police and SWAT officers converged on the neighborhood surrounding Catalina Boulevard and Verona Street for hours searching for the suspect. Four blocks of homes near the shooting were in lockdown much of the morning.

The suspect was found walking down a nearby street and taken into custody. Police said they found a semi-automatic handgun in his pocket.

The situation started just after 3 a.m. when officers received a 911 call about a shooting at a home in the 1000 block of Tarento Boulevard.

Responding officers found the door to the home ajar and a man and woman who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds inside, said San Diego police Lt. Paul Rorrison.

Several neighbors identified the victims as Lissa and David Haynes.

The Haynes were rushed to the hospital but died there, Rorrison said.

Residents on Friday morning expressed shock that their quiet, safe neighborhood would be the scene of a shooting.

"I'm a little shocked. This doesn't usually happen in Point Loma," said neighbor Tyler Sinks.

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, described it as a close-knit neighborhood.

"We all know each other," she said. "We all walk our dogs here."

Peter Haynes' father, David Haynes, lived in Point Loma but worked as an emergency room doctor in Yuma.

Public documents show he graduated from medical school in Nebraska and specialized in surgery and emergency medicine at University of California Irvine and Harbor-UCLA Medical Centers.

Dr. Haynes' father, Vital Haynes, was a well-known doctor in San Diego, and his two brothers are also physicians.

Peter Haynes has been booked into the San Diego Central Jail on two counts of first-degree murder. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 3.

A motive in the shooting also not been released.

SUV Crashes Into Lake Michigan


The driver of an SUV that drove into the water near Lake Shore Drive has died,  according to the Cook County Medical Examiner.

Randy Brittman, 51, drove his vehicle into the water at around 3 p.m. near Lake Shore Drive and Balbo Avenue, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala. Brittman was pronounced dead at 8:23 p.m.

Witnesses near the scene said a vehicle was traveling in reverse when it went across six lanes of traffic, through a fence and into the water.

"I saw a car traveling in reverse in front of me, slammed on the brakes, saw him continue through the fence right about here, right into the water about 20 feet out," said witness Kevin Shanken. "The door was wide open and he’s kind of out of the car, seemed like he was completely out of control."

Ron Dorneker, the Deputy District Chief of the Chicago Fire Department's Marine & Dive Operations, said rescuers pulled a victim from the water.

"Divers had limited visibility," he said, noting that debris made the search difficult.

The victim was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where their condition was not immediately known. Dorneker said the victim was underwater for roughly 20 minutes and was unresponsive at the scene, but could survive.

Earlier Friday, a Chicago Park District truck slid into Lake Michigan near Oak Street. Dorneker said the driver was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com

Flying Ice Shatters Windshield


You see it all the time, people who don't clear their cars of snow and ice before they hit the roads. Failing to properly clear vehicles can have deadly consequences. One New Hampshire family had a very close call.

Just before 11 a.m. Saturday, 35-year-old Lisa Beauchemin was driving a Volvo wagon with her two young daughters on Route 111 near the Windham town line. A sheet of snow and ice flew off another vehicle, shattering the Volvo's windshield.

Beauchemin was able to safely pull off to the side of the road. The driver of the other vehicle did not pull over.

Officers from the Hudson Police Department responded to the accident.

Beauchemin and her daughters weren't injured.

Officials say they'd like to remind motorists of the importance of completely clearing vehicles after storms. Drivers who have snow or ice come off their vehicle and hit another is responsible for any injuries or damages it causes.

Lockdown Lifted at Groton Naval Base After Bomb Threat


The lockdown has been lifted from Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton after a bomb threat was called in Saturday afternoon.

Investigators found no evidence of a physical threat after the call and said the incident was an apparent hoax, according to MC1 Bill Larned, a public affairs spokesman for the naval base. The naval base has reopened.

Security and public safety personnel responded to Building 87 at the submarine base about 1 p.m. on Saturday after the submarine base received a bomb threat by telephone, according to a release on the naval base's Facebook page.

In response, the base increased security and the building was evacuated.

The public safety and security team investigated the incident and notified local police. A state police explosive ordinance disposal team responded.

For several hours, access to the naval base was restricted to "essential personnel" and Gate 1 was only open to outgoing traffic. The lockdown was lifted shortly before 4 p.m.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the incident.

No information was available on the specifics about the initial threat.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Plane Crash Lands on Hartford Busway


A plane crash landed on the Hartford to New Britain busway in West Hartford on Saturday afternoon.

The plane lost power while flying from Robertson Airport in Plainville to Brainard Airport in Hartford, and crashed on the busway between the Oakwood Avenue Extension and New Britain Avenue, according to police.

The pilot, identified as Danny Hall, of Torrington, was not injured, police said.  Hall was the only one in the Skylane Cessna when it crash landed.

The plane was heavily damaged.

The FAA is now investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: Matt Austin/NBC Connecticut News

Bomb Threat at JFK: Law Enforcement


An airplane was taken to a remote area of JFK International Airport to be searched Sunday after authorities received a bomb threat, but nothing dangerous was found on the flight, authorities said.

American Airlines Flight 67 from Barcelona was met on the runway by first responders, and the plane was towed to a secure area off the runway, said Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police.

Passengers exited the plane and were interviewed by officials before being loaded onto a bus and brought to customs, Pentangelo said.

A sweep of the aircraft revealed no threat, he said.

Passengers said the pilot made an announcement about a bomb threat, but they weren't told the treat was about their specific flight.

"There was no panic," said passenger Dave Brubaker. "Nobody felt like oh something terrible's going to happen. It seemed like it was not credible."

American Airlines apologized to the 200 passengers on Flight 67 for any inconvenience on what is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year.

-- Jonathan Dienst and Ida Siegal contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jacob Rosenberg @jrosenberg

1 Dead, 3 Injured in Bar Shooting


A woman is dead and three others are injured after a shooting at a New Jersey bar, authorities said.

Shots were fired at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Oasis 93 bar in Newark, killing 36-year-old Lisa Parker, of Orange, authorities said. The three surviving victims were in stable condition at University Hospital.

It wasn't clear if Parker and the other victims were the intended targets.

A few hours earlier, Newark police found 23-year-old Zaire Williams shot dead on South 20th Street. It's not clear whether the shootings were related, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. 

Cyber Monday Security Tips


For as many great deals online tomorrow, there are also traps. Experts say there are simple things you can do to protect yourself and your personal information.

Cyber Monday, and more shoppers than ever are expected to shop online this year.
And Howard Schwartz, a consumer expert from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau says if you’re one of them, think carefully about how you pay.

“You should be using a credit card rather than a debit card,” said Schwartz. “A debit card may have a credit card logo on it, but it doesn’t have the same protection as a credit card. If somebody uses that debit card, the money comes straight out of your account. If you use the credit card, you have some time for a dispute and you don’t lose that money right away.”

He says it’s also important to make sure who you’re buying from. Check that a site it secure. When browsing a website, make sure it says “HTTPS” before the URL. The “s” or a lock icon on your browser means the connection is safe.

“We have to watch out for how we get to a given site in order to buy things,” Schwartz said. “There are some great coupons sites from social media and also from spam emails, and this may take you to a lookalike site and we saw a quite a few of those last year, they’ll ask for your credit card number, load it on to a preloaded card and you’re out whatever money they can get from it.”

When in doubt he says, always go with a retailer you know, “if a deal looks too good to be true, it could be stolen or it could be a knockoff be very careful.”

Experts also say the best thing to do is to make sure you choose shipping that requires signature confirmation, to prevent packages from being stolen from your door step.

Photo Credit: AP

Crash Causes Delays on Route 15 in Wallingford


A crash on Route 15 north in Wallingford is causing delays Sunday afternoon.

The right lane was closed near the crash site by exit 68 as of 1:46 p.m., according to state police.

The accident was cleared a short time later.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Closed Sign on Friendly's Door in Unionville


A staple restaurant in downtown Unionville has a closed sign on its front door.

You won't be able to eat at the Friendly's in the center of Unionville on Sunday.

"This location is currently closed, but our Avon and Bristol locations are open," a sign on the door said Sunday morning.

No reason was given for the closure and it's unclear if that means Friendly's has closed permanently or just for the time being. NBC Connecticut made numerous calls to Friendly's corporate offices, but could not immediately reach a spokesperson for comment.

The Friendly's in Unionville has long been a local hangout in town, with several families going for food or ice cream after various school concerts and events.

The restaurant was remodeled in 1998 and is one of the first businesses you see when you drive into the Stop & Shop plaza off Route 4 in Unionville.

Parking LLC co-owns the building with Friendly's Restaurant Services in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. The national franchise has been around since 1935, according to the Friendly's website.

Friendly's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October of 2011, closing 63 under-performing restaurants that year, including seven in Connecticut. The company closed nine more in January of 2012.

Photo Credit: Jamie Sawyer

Bridgeport Man Charged with Stabbing Pregnant Woman


A 41-year-old Bridgeport man was arrested on Saturday night after he broke into the home of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and stabbed her, police said.

Police found Jose Velez still inside 50 Pearl Harbor Circle, the apartment in which the attack occurred, and arrested him.  Police also found the victim, Francis Santos, 39, who suffered stab wounds to her neck and back.
Santos, who is pregnant, was taken to Bridgeport Hospital where she was in serious condition. According to Bridgeport Police, Santos was home with her 8-year-old son when she heard someone breaking into the home. She fled but Velez attacked her, stabbing her at least twice.
According to detectives, Santos sat with her pastor, sisters and Velez on Friday and ended the relationship with him.
"Velez has a long history of arrests in Trumbull, Stratford, Fairfield and Bridgeport for violent crimes," said Capt. Armando Perez of Bridgeport Police. "Velez went to that apartment intent on killing the victim. During the assault, the victim said something, she said she loved him, and he stopped the attack."
Velez was charged with first-degree assault, home invasion, risk of injury to a minor, second-degree criminal mischief, first-degree burglary and criminal attempt at murder. His bond was set at $500,000.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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