Madison police apprehended a larceny suspect Friday afternoon several hours after he fled from Stop & Shop after being confronted by security personnel at the store. Another suspect, a woman, is still at large.
One suspect initially eluded police by fleeing through the downtown area packed with shoppers, ducking behind the firehouse and plunging into Tuxis Pond and swimming to the other side. A police officer and another man, who appeared to be a firefigher, launched a row boat and took chase just as that suspect reached the other side of the pond.
Police then engaged in a search of downtown Madison on foot, in patrol cars, by boat, and with the department's K-9 Paco before nabbing one of the suspects following a second chase near Academy School, which was full of people shopping at the local library's annual used book sale fundraiser.
Police Department Spokesman Joseph Race said around 4:28 p.m. that a man was apprehended near Academy School, where the town library's annual book sale was being held. Another suspect, a woman, is still at large, Race said.
Larceny spree at Stop & Shop
Madison police did not provide Madison Patch with any additional information about the incident Friday.
A larceny suspect is in police custody following a foot chase, police said. Police say that Zoltan Verillo, 27, and a female suspect have been involved in a larceny spree at Stop & Shop over the past several days. The spree consisted of several thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise. They two suspects were confronted by security personnel on Friday and both immediately fled on foot into the downtown area. Verillo ... is charged with organized retail theft, larceny in the 3rd degree and interfering with police. He is being held on a $10,000 bond.
The New Haven Register reported that Verillo's address is 11 Manorwood Dr. in Branford, CT.
The two people had been under surveillance by Stop & Shop security and fled on foot into the Madison Center area when confronted by security workers, police said. Police caught Verillo several hours later following a second foot chase near Academy School, but could not locate the woman, police said.
Merchants, downtown shoppers keep tabs on chase during sidewalk sales
Merchants with stores on Boston Post Road on Friday in downtown Madison said they were told by police that a suspect, or suspects, may have tried to steal items from Stop & Shop, which is located on Samson Rock Drive, behind the Boston Post Road.
Those merchants said they saw police officers engaged in a pursuit by foot and with patrol cars, lights flashing, through the downtown shortly before noon.
Then the fire horns went off at Madison Hose Co. No. 1 and numerous fire fighters responded to the back of the firehouse, which is on Boston Post Road and right next to Tuxis Pond.
Into Tuxis Pond
Around the back of the building, two men, one a police officer and the other who appeared to be a firefighter, launched a small rowboat and starting rowing across Tuxis Pond. As they launched, a person could be seen, swimming, approaching the far shore of the pond.
The swimmer headed towards a swampy area adjacent to the Hearth at Tuxis Pond, and Brookside Road, a small residential neighborhood off of Wall Street. The person who was swimming climbed out of the water and disappeared into the bushes on the far side of the pond.
Madison police continued to search the downtown on foot, by patrol car, and with the K-9 Paco. Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm worked with Sgt. Bryan Baxter, Paco's handler, as they searched the swampy area adjacent to The Hearth at Tuxis Pond Friday afternoon.
Officers stationed at The Hearth, Brookside Road, suspect nabbed outside used book sale
In addition to the police officers searching Tuxis Pond, and the area around it, Madison police also had officers stationed at The Hearth at Tuxis Pond, and at the end of Brookside Road, which is adjacent to Tuxis Pond.
Officers also were patrolling Bradley Road Friday afternoon, which runs behind the Boston Post Road, and connects to Academy Street, where the Academy School is located.
Tucker O'Brien was one of many people keeping tabs on the chase while running errands around town.
"I was around town running errands and I had heard about how the cops were running around town looking for the guy," O'Brien told us via email. "I was at the book sale stocking up haha and we see this guy run behind the Deacon John Grave House and then a cop came from behind him and then one from the front yard, guns drawn, and forced him to the ground."
"It was amazing to witness," O'Brien said.