(WTNH) – Three teens have been arrested in connection to several purse-snatching incidents across New Haven County.
Hamden police said around 12:30 p.m., officers responded to a complaint of a 12-year-old boy being assaulted on Mix Avenue while he was walking home from his bus stop. The victim told police he was stopped in a driveway when a car stopped and six occupants got out. The victim said one of the males attempted to steal his cell phone, and when the victim resisted, the suspect began punching him in the face. The victim suffered injuries to his face.
On Monday around 1:37 p.m., the Wallingford Police Department responded to Walmart on North Colony Road for the report of a person struck by a car in the parking lot. Police learned the person was a victim of a purse snatching and had fallen to the ground when the suspects attempted to take her purse.
While police were investigating this incident, officers were called to the Shop Rite parking lot on North Colony Road where a victim told police they had their purse stolen.
Around 1:47 p.m., Wallingford officers responded to Cumberland Farms on North Colony Road for the report of a car theft. The victim told police that when he was inside the store, his 2017 Toyota Prius was stolen.
Wallingford police determined that the car was believed to be linked to the two previous purse snatchings in their town.
According to police, the same car was used in several robberies throughout the state over the next several hours in Hamden, Wallingford and Meriden.
Around 6:30 p.m. Hamden police said officers responded to the parking lot of Walmart for the report of an attempted robbery. The female victim said that she was walking to her car when a dark-colored car approached her and attempted to steal her purse. The victim said the driver of the car held onto her purse and dragged her for a short distance. The suspect was unsuccessful in stealing the purse.
Around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Meriden police received a report of a robbery in a parking lot on Broad Street involving the Prius. Police said during the incident, the driver of the car drove “dangerously” close to a woman several times and it is believed the driver was deliberately trying to hit her.
“She felt as if a particular vehicle, a Toyota Prius, had been following her suspiciously close to her,” said Lt. Darrin McKay, Meriden Police. “She actually felt the vehicle was trying to strike her.”
The occupants in the car tried to grab the woman’s purse as they passed her, but were unsuccessful, according to police.
Around 10 minutes later, police said the car was involved in another purse-snatching incident at Stop & Shop on Broad Street. Police said the car again got dangerously close to the woman in the parking lot. Meriden police said a passenger inside the car grabbed the woman’s cross-body purse and dragged her a short distance. The victim suffered minor injuries.
“This one was a little more serious,” McKay said. “They actually grabbed hold of her purse that was over her shoulder. She had it pretty secure, so, unfortunately, she was dragged by the vehicle.”
Police said later Monday night, the car led members of state police and several other agencies on a pursuit. The pursuit ended in a felony stop on the Berlin Turnpike just before 11 p.m.
“At this point in time, we believe that the juveniles that Meriden police spoke of are connected to our incidents,” said Detective Sgt. Brian Nowek, Wallingford Police. “We’re continuing to investigate.”
Three juveniles were apprehended and brought to the Meriden Police department. All three were brought to the Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center on numerous charges including robbery, assault and reckless endangerment.
During the holiday season, police are urging everyone to take steps to protect themselves.
“There’s wallets on your phone that you can upload your credit card info too, so you don’t have to carry a large bag or pocketbook and a purse,” said Sgt. Christine Jeltema, Connecticut State Police.