Arrest made in Middletown Military Museum burglary


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police have made an arrest in connection to the Greater Middletown Military Museum burglary that happened earlier this week.

RELATED: Veterans speak out about axe-wielding military museum burglary suspect as cleanup begins

Isaiah Nemecek, 22, of Middletown, was arrested Thursday on charges of burglary, possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief, and larceny.

According to police, Nemecek broke in to the museum Tuesday, vandalized a display case, and stole several items from the museum. Evidence was later located by the K-9 team.

Isaiah Nemecek, 22, of Middletown – Photo: Middletown PD

Surveillance video provided to police by the museum shows a masked suspect using an ax to force his way into the building.

The museum contains military items including flintlock rifles, swords, and bayonets going back 200 years.

Wednesday night, police told News 8 the museum honors any Middletown man or woman who served in the U.S. military, and the thief disrespected veterans with his vandalism and robbery.

“I was really concerned about the amount of damage that would’ve been done inside. I was concerned about some of the artifacts that we have being taken. Some of them are, frankly, irreplaceable.”

Ken McClellan/ Middletown Military Museum

The police aren’t saying what Nemecek took, because they don’t want to compromise their case, but they did say it was from the Vietnam era.

Thursday morning, police said after Nemecek’s arrest they were able to recover an item stolen from the museum.

LT. Heather Desmond of Middletown PD explained they are asking neighbors for their security camera footage.

Breanna Rygiel who lives in the neighborhood said she checked her cameras, but all they captured were “some animals overnight.”

Residents are on-edge, as police say they did find a trail of evidence scattered throughout the neighborhood behind the military Museum.

“It’s a little unnerving that it is so close right in our backyard.”

Breanna Rygiel/ Middletown

The museum says they have a lot of security: more than 20 different angles of the museum seen by their security cameras, alarms, and other security you can’t see.

Police located Nemecek Tuesday in the same neighborhood as the military museum when a homeowner found damage to the interior of his home. During the investigation of that damage, police located Nemecek and learned he was involved in the burglary of the museum.

Police report that Nemecek already had two failure to appear warrants at the time they questioned him for the burglaries.

Nemecek is being held on $100,000 bond.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Chris Iovene at (860) 638-4148.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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