Search continues for Hamden shoplifter

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hamden police continue to search for the man who they say is responsible for taking the Shop Rite on Dixwell Avenue by storm Monday, when he allegedly took off with about $250 worth of merchandise before carjacking a teen’s car.

“(The suspect) ran through the parking lot, fought with store security … and then entered a motor vehicle which was driven by a 17-year-old Hamden resident,” said Hamden police Capt. Ronald Smith.

Police say he told the petrified teen he had a gun and then forced himself into the the car and demanded a getaway ride.

Police say the man didn’t want to go far — in fact, he just wanted to be driven to a shopping plaza across the street from the Shop Rite, and even though it was a short distance police say it was terrifying for the teenager.

“The 17-year-old was terrified, didn’t know what to do, he ended up driving to the police department because he thought he would be safer here,” Smith said.

Police say they chased him to Connolly and Thornton streets but he got away.

“It’s crazy, I mean there are other ways to go through life,” said Hamden resident Amelio Amill. “You could try to get assistance, you could try to get help, go for food stamps.”

It wasn’t just food he wanted from the the store. “I know one of the items were batteries,” Smith said.

Police are hoping surveillance video will help lead to the suspect’s eventual capture. But as long as he is out there, people say they are going to be looking over their shoulders while shopping in Hamden.

“I mean that kind of stuff can definitely happen around here,” said Jeffrey Edmonds. “I mean it’s happened at Walmart so why can it happen at Shop Rite.”

Police say when they catch the man, he might be charged with kidnapping for taking off the with the teenager. If you think you know who he is, please call Hamden police.

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