PROSPECT — In March, Prospect police nabbed two armed robbery suspects less than 25 minutes after the suspects made off with the money from the Wells Fargo Bank on Waterbury Road.
“That’s better than you see on those police movies,” Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield said.
Chatfield and representatives from Wells Fargo Bank honored officers Nelson Abarazua, Andy Giordino and Douglas Fairchild for their heroic actions that day in a short ceremony in Town Hall last week.
“It is with honor today that I am going to present each one of these gentlemen with a ribbon and a plaque,” Chatfield said.
The bank had only been in town a couple of months when it was robbed March 26, according to Chatfield.
Chatfield said he was on his way to perform a wedding when his town radio lit up with chatter about a bank robbery. Twenty-four minutes later, the suspects were in handcuffs. Police responded to the scene after they received a bank alarm and 911 calls reporting a shot was fired in the bank during a robbery.
The two suspects, later identified as Kevin Shuff and Terrance Phillips, took off in a black Chevrolet headed on Scott Road toward Waterbury. Giordino spotted the get-away vehicle on Scott Road. The driver lost control of the vehicle and went off the road. The men then fled on foot, with Fairchild in pursuit. Police caught one of the men immediately, but continued to search for the other suspect.
Abarazua was at home when he responded to the call. He and Fairchild caught the other suspect as he was running through backyards around Williams Drive, he said.
According to the Connecticut State Judicial Branch’s website, Shuff has pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges and four misdemeanors. Phillips has not yet entered a plea to six felony charges and four misdemeanors. Both men are scheduled to appear in court July 12 and are being held in custody on a $500,000 bond.
The three officers had about 100 years of experience on the force between them.
“My officers are all part-time and they all come with a lot of experience. That’s why I hire retired officers,” Chatfield said.
Carol Ingala, a representative from Wells Fargo, thanked the officers at the ceremony and presented them with a porcelain carriage filled with lollipops.
“On behalf of the bank, the sensitivity and kindness that you showed our staff was just incredible. We really appreciate that,” Ingala said.
Abarzua said he appreciated the recognition.
“I thought that was a beautiful touch from the bank personnel. … It means a lot,” he said. “It was very kind of the bank and the town of Prospect to recognize the officers for the job they performed that day.”