Off-duty policeman foils burglary

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PROSPECT — An off-duty police lieutenant Monday interrupted a burglary in progress at the Prospect Shell station on Waterbury Road (Route 69).

The Shell station on Waterbury Road sustained some damage to its front wall and windows.

State police received a 911 call from the Bridgeport Police Department lieutenant just after 1:30 a.m. Monday. The lieutenant, whose name was not released, reported that he had observed a minivan backed against the front of the building, pulled into the lot to investigate and gave chase when the van sped off north on Waterbury Road.

The driver of the 2000 Dodge Caravan lost control as he or she swerved right onto Orchard Road, and the van came to rest in a residential backyard.

The suspects fled on foot, and state police responded by establishing a perimeter and conducting a K9 search.

State Police Sergeant Shawn Corey said he didn’t know whether the off-duty lieutenant pursued the suspect on foot, but said it would be “common police procedure” to do so.

The gas station sustained damage to its front wall and windows, and police suspect the burglars had intended to steal the store’s ATM machine.

The van, which state police said “appears to be an unreported stolen vehicle,” was seized and transported to the Troop I barracks in Bethany. Police also collected “several items of evidence” at the scene; Corey said he could not elaborate on the nature of those items.

The Prospect Resident trooper, state police detectives and Troop I troopers were investigating the incident Monday. They are asking anyone with information or who observed any suspicious activity in the area to call Troop I at (203) 393-4200.

The suspects were still at large as of 1 p.m. Monday.