Police are looking for the public’s help in finding men who stole a woman’s car with her 4-year-old son inside. (Suspects’ photos are included here.)
They also reported that, in a separate incident Monday, a woman escaped from a man in car who grabbed her late at night near the Connecticut Tennis Center.
Police spokesman Officer David Hartman released the following write-ups about tge incidents, along with tips for a safe run or walk or bike ride.
Kidnapping: Manhunt Continues
On Saturday, 24 November, 2018, at 2:30 a.m., a 2000 grey Honda Odyssey was stolen while running, from in front of a Bodega on the 1300 block of State Street, between Rock and May Streets.
Officers were called and found a 31-year-old woman, pacing and crying. She told the cops her four year old son was inside her car when thieves took off with it. She said she’d gone into the store to buy snacks for her son and wasn’t inside for long. When she left the store, her car was gone – and so was her young child.
She told the officers, after the store clerk refused to phone police for her (her phone was inside her stolen car), she ran across the street to a gas station, where the attendant there was able to help her. She said she phoned 911 and told the operator her child was in the back seat. She described the Honda and her son, including what clothing he was wearing.
A witness spotted the woman speaking with police and had seen something she thought was suspicious. She said she was walking across the street when she spotted a newer white Honda Civic driving through the gas station lot. The driver was a black woman. There were several others in the car with her. She said she saw several young black men get into the victim’s vehicle and speed off, south on State Street toward Willow Street.
The Connecticut State Police were notified, as were neighboring agencies. All available patrol units were assigned to search for the car. One of them was officer Joseph Silvestrini. He’d rounded the corner to Rock and Ridge Streets, when he saw a man waving at him. Next to the man was a young boy wearing only a T-shirt, shorts and a winter cap. The officer wrapped him up in his uniform coat and the mother and child reunion was made. EMTs then brought them to the hospital for a precautionary pediatric check-up.
The victim’s cell phone was activated and allowed dispatchers to zero in on its location. It was in Hamden. They responded. At 4 am., Hamden cops let us know they’d recovered the Honda Odyssey and that it had been abandoned on the lower number block of Woodstock Road in their town. NHPD towed it to the police garage for forensic testing. Mom’s cell phone and keys were found nearby.
Detectives got involved. Surveillance images were obtained – taken from cameras in the neighborhood. The ones we’re sharing with you show the car thieves and the car driven by their accomplice.
Anyone with information on this crime and/ or the identities of these crooks, is urged to phone police. Detectives can be reached by phoning 203-946-6304. Calls may be made anonymously. One may also Text-A-Tip to “NHPD and your message” to 274637 (CRIMES) or email: ECIC@newhavenct.gov.
This case remains under investigation.
Escape Near Tennis Center
At 11:35 p.m. Monday, officers were dispatched to investigate a reported assault that had occurred near the Connecticut Tennis Center, located in the sub-street level chasm adjacent to Yale Avenue and Route 34.
The victim met the cops at her Westville home. She said she’d just been out for a late-night run. She believed she’d been on or near Yale Avenue, when she saw a man standing near a small white SUV (She’s not sure the SUV was involved or even his). She said the man had a long handgun which she believed may have been a fake. She said he called to her, saying, “Come with me.” Then he grabbed her and covered her mouth with his hand. The victim struggled and broke free of her attacker’s hold.
Two residents on the 1800 block of Chapel Street had called 911 to report a woman screaming around that same time, though neither caller said they’d seen who’d been screaming. The victim was physically unharmed and was not otherwise assaulted or robbed.
Tips For Safe Run, Walk, Or Bike Ride
· If you must run after dark, know the neighborhood, where exactly you are and wear something highly visible.
· Carry a personal alarm (a whistle or audible device of some type – such as the ‘runangel’).
· If you must listen to music, use only one ear-bud (There are certain times and places when you need all of your senses to be alert in order to stay safe.).
· Headlamps. Yes, I know they look dorky, but they also let cars and other pedestrians know where you are. Also, light reflective colors are a must.
· Keep your phone on BUT STAY OFF IT while running.
· Consider using a run tracking app to share your location with others.
· Let a friend or relative know when and where you’re going and when you expect to return.
· Cary ID but unless you’re running to a fancy restaurant for dinner, leave other valuables and cash at home.
· Run with others – (especially those a bit slower – it’ll keep you safer and boost your running confidence).
In the unfortunate circumstance you’re attacked or grabbed, fight like your life depends on it! Kick him in the bollocks and yell at the top of your lungs! Then run like the wind and call 911 as soon as you’re in a safe place.