OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Two men from New York state stole cooking oil in Old Saybrook and struck another driver in Westbrook as they fled, police said.
An owner of a restaurant on Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook called 911 around 9:30 a.m. Thursday to report that he had just interrupted a theft of cooking oil and that the suspects took off in a Home Deport rental truck. He directed police to a nearby restaurant, where police said he saw the suspect vehicle and the men attempting to steal cooking oil from that restaurant.
Police said employees confronted the men before they fled into Westbrook and struck another vehicle. The driver of that vehicle, who police said was an elderly woman, is in stable condition with minor injuries at Yale New Haven Hospital.
After the crash, the suspect vehicle continued onto I-95 South in Westbrook, where police tried stopping the rental truck several times. State police used stop sticks that eventually stopped the suspect vehicle near Exit 18 in Westport. Police said both suspects fled on foot but were quickly taken into custody by state police.
Police said the rental truck contained over 1,000 gallons of stolen cooking oil. The box truck was rented from Hawthorne, New York, and is three days overdue to be returned, according to police.
State police identified the driver as 26-year-old Prince Gonzalez of Yonkers. Old Saybrook police charged him with engaging in pursuit, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, two counts of criminal trespass, two counts of criminal trespass, two counts of attempted larceny sixth-degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit larceny, and interfering and possession of stolen property valued at over $4,000.
State police charged him with evading responsibility, passing in a no passing zone, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, disobeying the signal of an officer, engaging in pursuit, and driving without a license.
Old Saybrook police charged the passenger, 21-year-old Leuri A. DeLeon Blanco of the Bronx, with two counts of criminal trespass, two counts of attempted larceny sixth-degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit larceny, interfering, and possession of stolen property valued at over $4,000.
Left to right: Prince C. Gonzalez, Leuri A. DeLeon Blanco (Credit: Old Saybrook Police Department).
Both suspects are being held by Old Saybrook police on bond and are due to appear in Middletown Superior Court Friday, according to the police department.