Police pursuit of Waterbury robbery suspect ends in Naugatuck

Jose Rivera

WATERBURY — A police chase that started in Waterbury ended in Naugatuck with the arrest of a man suspected of robbing a beauty supply store on Wolcott Street Wednesday night.

At about 6:10 p.m., police say 46-year-old Jose Rivera purchased a small brush at Sally’s Beauty Supply at 650 Wolcott St., paying with cash.

He left the brush on the counter and walked around the store before displaying what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband and demanding money from two cash registers, police said. The “handgun” was later found to be a BB gun.

Two female clerks gave Rivera more than $120, police said. He was seen fleeing the store in a 1995 Ford Econoline van with New Jersey plates.

Minutes later, officers spotted Rivera driving the van on Homer Street, police said. They attempted to stop him, but he fled onto Route 8 southbound, according to police.

Police followed him to Exit 25 in Naugatuck, where he exited the highway and sideswiped a Naugatuck police car, damaging the cruiser’s front passenger fender.

According to Naugatuck police, Rivera drove up Cross Street and through the intersection of New Haven Road into the J&M Automotive Sales and Service lot at 756 New Haven Road in Naugatuck, where police caught him.

Officers found Rivera to be in possession of the pellet gun and stolen money, according to police.

Rivera was charged with sixth-degree larceny, first-degree robbery, engaging police in pursuit, interfering with an officer, weapons in a motor vehicle and carrying a dangerous weapon. Police also served him with outstanding warrants out of Waterbury.