SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — State police say they’ve made progress in their quest to capture some brazen thieves who were caught on camera in a now-viral social media video stealing $1,600 in goods from an Oxford market.
Two of the four people involved in a theft at Market 32 in Oxford have been identified, police said. They are allegedly the same thieves who stole TVs at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs in Wallingford and Southington.
"The description of the vehicle is similar and connected to the series of thefts that’s been going around the state," explained Lt. Keith Egan of the Southington Police Department.
He said thieves are becoming more bold and brazen, and police often have their hands tied.
"That’s crazy for people to actually be that bold to do that," said Madeline Lopez-Rivera of Meriden.
"It upsets me very much that people are that dishonest," added Kathleen Mercer of Cheshire.
On Nov. 9 at the Stop & Shop in Southington, two men stole a shopping cart filled with groceries.
"Went around and pushed the store manager onto the ground. He fell and it ultimately resulted in a head injury," explained Egan.
Police responded and were quick to tail the vehicle, but it sped away. State law prevents them from engaging in a pursuit unless there’s an imminent threat to the community.
"Currently we’re can’t pursue vehicles if it’s a property crime," explained Lt. Egan.
"Yeah, I mean they know there’s a shortage of law enforcement and they are going to try it," added Karl Pella of Wallingford.
Two days earlier – on Nov. 7 – an unrelated but similar incident occurred at the Southington ShopRite. A lady was allegedly caught stealing groceries and when confronted by the manager, "it ultimately resulted in a struggle over the shopping cart,” Egan said.
“She pulled out a hypodermic needle and threatened to stab the store manager several times," he added.
Shoppers said it's a sign of the times but they say they would not intervene, and fear for their own safety.
"You don’t know what they have in their pocket," said Mercer.
Police say that’s the correct mindset. Don’t intervene. Call 911. That goes for store employees too.
Southington Police told FOX61 that they believe they’ve identified the woman with the hypodermic needle and are closing in on an arrest in that case.
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