TRUMBULL, Conn. — Five teenagers were arrested after a robbery at the Westfield Trumbull Mall and a high-speed police pursuit for several miles in a BMW SUV that was stolen out of New Canaan, Trumbull police said.
Four of the suspects are juveniles from Waterbury, including a 15-year-old boy who was at the wheel during the speedy pursuit through Trumbull and Bridgeport streets and Route 25, police said.
The incident began Saturday when a mall employee reported that her bag was stolen from her as she sat in her vehicle during her lunch break, police said.
One of the five in the stolen car, later identified as a 16-year-old boy from Waterbury, reached into her car through an open window and grabbed the bag off the passenger seat, police said.
He then ran to a waiting 2017 BMW SUV, which had been reported stolen from a home in New Canaan, where it had been left unlocked overnight with the keys in it, police said.
The BMW then raced through the mall parking lot at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting several other vehicles, police said.
An off-duty Trumbull police officer spotted the speeding SUV and notified dispatchers, police said.
Officer Greg Lee then spotted the stolen SUV as it exited the mall and traveled south on Main Street into Bridgeport, police said.
The driver of the SUV ignored the officer’s signal and continued traveling on Main Street, to Summit Avenue, and entered Route 25 southbound, police said. After exiting the highway at Prospect Street in Bridgeport, the vehicle re-entered Route 25 northbound and continued back into Trumbull, police said.
With the assistance of officers from Trumbull, Bridgeport and the State Police, the stolen car was stopped on Route 25 near the Daniels Farm Road exit, police said.
Police charged Johnny Aspiliare of Hartford with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit robbery and interfering with an officer. He was held on $10,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in court Aug. 21.
The four other juveniles, all from Waterbury, were each charged with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit robbery and interfering with an officer.
One of the juveniles, a 15-year-old male from Waterbury, was identified as the driver and was also charged with reckless operation, engaging in pursuit and a number of other motor vehicle charges. He was later released to a parent.
A second juvenile, a 16-year-old also from Waterbury, was found to have an active arrest warrant from Waterbury Police and was turned over to that agency.
The two remaining juveniles, a 16-year-old male and a 15-year-old female, both from Waterbury, were each released to parents. All were scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court on Aug. 21.
The vehicle and its occupants are suspects in similar crimes in the area, and detectives were continuing to investigate. More charges are possible.
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