VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) — Police departments in three Connecticut towns are searching for suspects who allegedly robbed gas stations at gunpoint.
Gas stations in Vernon, Berlin and Meriden were hit in three hours. Police said the crime spring started at 10 p.m. Thursday when three masked suspects showed up at the Valero gas station on Talcottville Road in Vernon.
Vernon Police Capt. Lucas Gallant said at least one suspect showed a gun before the trio stole cash and cigarettes.
“The concern mostly was that a firearm was shown and brandished, you know, and obviously, the multiple incidents were also concerning, so multiple factors made it a concerning incident,” Gallant told News 8.
A couple of hours later, Meriden police were notified of an armed robbery that had just occurred at a Valero on East Main Street. Two suspects had guns and stole money and cigars before fleeing, police said.
A short time later, Berlin police responded to a Citgo gas station on the Berlin Turnpike, where two masked men robbed the convenience store at gunpoint. Police said they stole an undetermined amount of cash from the register and took off in a U-Haul van, heading north on the Berlin Turnpike into Newington.
The three police departments quickly shared information with others, leading Newington police to spot the U-Haul. A brief pursuit stopped on a dead-end street, where police said the three suspects got out of the vehicle and ran into the woods.
Officers from the Berlin, Newington, New Britain, and West Hartford police departments and members of the Connecticut State Police set up a perimeter with K-9 units and a drone, but the suspects were not found.
Berlin police seized the abandoned U-Haul as investigators in all three towns are looking at surveillance video to identify the suspects.
“The message to the public is to just stay vigilant around your surroundings and be aware of who is around you,” Gallant said. “If you do notice and incident, do not intervene just dial 9-1-1 and give the police officers and dispatch the best information you have available.”
No one was injured in the robberies, and gas station employees declined to comment.
Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1.