NAUGATUCK — Three out-of-state men carried out a plan early Thursday to steal at least 57 cell phones worth almost $32,000 from the Walmart on New Haven Road, according to police.
The store at 1100 New Haven Road is open 24 hours, and employees were present during the 3 a.m. robbery, said Lt. Bryan Cammarata of the Naugatuck Police Department. At least one employee reported hearing breaking glass while two men broke into the electronics cabinet. Employees who confronted the suspects were threatened with a screwdriver, Cammarata said. The employees backed off and the men fled in a tan 1990 Honda Accord, Cammarata said.
Police broadcast a description of the car to neighboring departments. A short time later, state police reported the car had rolled over on Route 334, or Great Hill Road, in Seymour. Some of the phones were scattered outside the car after the accident, Cammarata said.
Arder Scott, 24, of 9809 Red Clover Ave. in Orlando, Fla., and Terrance Smith, 30, of 23 Bentley Road in Amityville, N.Y., were taken to Waterbury Hospital for evaluation, Cammarata said. Tyriek Dennis, 23, of 120 South 29th St. in Wyandanch, N.Y., was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Cammarata said.
Cammarata said he did not know the extent of their injuries, but they were all released later Thursday.
Scott and Dennis, the men police said were inside the store, were charged with robbery in the first degree, larceny in the first degree, criminal mischief in the second degree, conspiracy at robbery in the first degree, conspiracy at larceny in the first degree and conspiracy at criminal mischief in the second degree. They were being held Thursday on $100,000 bonds.
Police said Smith was waiting outside behind the wheel while the robbery was taking place. He was charged with conspiracy at robbery in the first degree and conspiracy at larceny in the first degree and held on a $50,000 surety bond.
The robbery comes on the heels of a slew of similar incidents in Radio Shack stores in the New Haven area.
“We don’t know if these individuals are tied into anything else,” Cammarata said. “It’s obviously one of the things that the detectives are looking into.”