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Police arrest man allegedly trying to break into cars at Southington elementary school

Police said the man also tried pulling a bike off a bike rack.
Credit: FOX61
Southington Police

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — Police arrested a man who they say was attempting to break into cars and steal bikes at an elementary school.

Police were called to South End Elementary School on Maxwell Noble Drive in Plantsville for reports of a suspicious man on the property. The man was reportedly looking into vehicles parked in the parking lot. 

People at the school told police the man had become argumentative when he was approached. 

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When police arrived, they found 43-year-old Fernando Cutanda walking in the area along South End Road. According to witnesses, he was seen by school employees near the passenger side of a school employee’s vehicle, pulling the door handle, suspected of trying to enter the vehicle. 

After not being able to get in the vehicle, Cutanda was seen walking around the rear of the school, police said. He was approached by school employees who reportedly saw him near a bicycle rack, pulling a bike and trying to free it from the rack. 

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Police said when officers approached, Cutanda continued to be uncooperative, and argumentative. Cutanda also reportedly stated he was a “cop in New York.” Cutanda refused to provide identification, giving the officer a false name and date of birth, police said. 

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Police said they found him in possession of a carpenter's hammer, a broken glass bottleneck, and a broken steak knife blade. 

Identified through fingerprint identification, Cutanda was found to have an extensive criminal history in New York and Massachusetts, along with an active arrest warrant out of New London. Police said that with the assistance of Southington school employees and a quick response by officers, Cutanda was able to be taken into custody without incident.

Cutanda was charged with criminal attempt to commit larceny 6th degree, criminal impersonation, loitering/remaining on school grounds, and breach of peace, failure to appear 2nd degree. 

He was held on a total of $28,000 bond.

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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