MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – State police have made three arrests in a state-wide retail theft ring that they have been investigating on Wednesday.

While conducting a domestic highway enforcement operation, state police said they witnessed a man driving a truck that was suspected of multiple thefts in the Hartford area on Tuesday. The truck was an overdue U-Haul rental van, which had all of the U-Haul decals removed and heavily tinted windows.

Police said they identified the truck and its driver as being connected to several organized retail thefts throughout Connecticut and at least one armed robbery.

The suspect, Edwin Pacheco, 26, of Hartford, and his front seat passenger, Bryan Shephard, 33, of Canterbury had active felony warrants on them for larceny, engaging in pursuit, and interfering.

Officers followed the U-Haul until it stopped at a gas station in Hartford, where Pacheco exited the car and placed a firearm on the center console, said authorities. Pacheco attempted to fight off the police who surrounded his car, and officers Tasered him to handcuff him. Shepherd was also taken into custody at this time.

A third passenger, Danielle Pelletier, 40, of Manchester was found in the van as well. Pellettier has two active PRAWN warrants on her, and police said she was arrested with the others.

While searching the van, officers said they found 30 bags of “purple” fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, burglary tools, knives, a machete, a faux firearm, and a loaded firearm with no serial number and a threaded barrel.

Both Pacheco and Shepherd were charged with possessing weapons in a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of an assault weapon, interfering, and possession of a controlled substance. Neither Pacheco nor Shepherd was able to post their bonds, set at $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.

State police noted that if any other agencies are investigating similar burglaries, they are asked to contact Sgt. Gordon via email at: anthony.gordon@ct.gov.