WOLCOTT, Conn. (WTNH) — Police have secured an arrest warrant for a man who is accused of shoving an elderly woman in Wolcott and stealing her car.

On Friday, Wolcott Police said an arrest warrant has been secured for Michael Moniz of New Milford, charging him with third-degree robbery, home invasion, and first-degree larceny.

Barbara Manning, 82, said she has never had any trouble in the 63 years she has lived on Grove Avenue in a beautiful lakeside neighborhood. Until Thursday morning that is.

Manning was bringing laundry downstairs and heard someone in the garage where her new 2022 Chevy Trailblazer was parked.

“I came to the door, and there this guy is, taking the keys off the rack over there,” Manning said. “Then he came and pushed me back into the house.”

Manning said the man shoved her in her own garage. She thinks the suspect targeted her garage so no one would see him steal the car.

“He just took the car, took off, and I’m following behind him,” Manning said. “I’m saying. ‘Bring my car back! Bring my car back!'”

That did not work but calling the police did.

“We found the car a couple of hours later,” said Chief Ed Stephens of the Wolcott police. “It was found in Waterbury. There was OnStar in the car at the time, so we were able to locate it very quickly.”

Manning is very fortunate for a couple of reasons. For one thing, she wasn’t injured when the thief shoved her. For another, she lives in a neighborhood where a lot of people have security cameras, and a lot of people were very quick to offer up surveillance video to police.

Police now have video from a couple of angles showing Moniz walking around the neighborhood, carrying bolt cutters, scoping out what to steal. Neighbors say there have been more thefts like this recently. Police urge folks not to confront thieves when they see them committing a crime.

“Because the people who are committing them are willing to do anything to get what they want or get away,” Stephens explained. “So, if you see somebody touching anything, stealing anything, let it go.”

Let it go and call the police, just like Manning did.

“I couldn’t fight back. I was trying to hold on and he’s pushing me,” she said. “Plus, he’s trying to take the car. He could have run me over.”

Manning said she will keep the garage door closed from now on.

Wolcott police said Moniz is currently in custody after being arrested by Waterbury detectives for crimes in their cities. Moniz will be brought to court where he will face the charges.

Credit: Wolcott Police Department