3 shoplifting suspects arrested after police pursuit on Merritt
WESTPORT - Three people were arrested Monday after allegedly stealing nearly $5,000 in merchandise from Ulta Beauty. The three were taken into custody after a police pursuit on the Merritt Parkway.
Ar approximately 4:41p.m. Monday, Westport police received a call from Ulta Beauty at 1365 Post Road East reporting a possible shoplifting incident in progress.
“The caller reported that she had observed two individuals (a male and a female) known to her from previous shoplifting incidents enter the store. Staff began to monitor the two, both of whom began moving around the store and filling up bags with merchandise consisting of various bottles of perfume, Lt. Anthony Prezioso said in a release.
“Staff attempted to speak with both of these individuals, at which time both exited the store without paying for the merchandise that they had selected. Staff were able to provide not only a description of the suspects and their clothing, but also a description of and registration plate for the vehicle in which they left the scene. This information was subsequently broadcast to all patrol officers by dispatch.
A Westport officer observed the vehicle attempting to enter the northbound Merritt Parkway at Exit 42.
“The officer attempted to effectuate a motor vehicle stop with the suspects, who disregarded her signal and continued northbound into Fairfield. This information was also broadcast to the Connecticut State Police and surrounding agencies. The pursuit continued into Fairfield and was ultimately terminated by this department.
“The suspects were believed to have exited the parkway in Fairfield. Shortly after discontinuing pursuit, Westport police were advised that the suspect vehicle had been stopped at the northbound Merritt Parkway rest area in Fairfield by Fairfield officers.”
Westport units responded to that location and ultimately took custody of three individuals in connection with the shoplifting investigation. Ulta staff positively identified two of the vehicle occupants as the two who had been in their store earlier.
Also found in the vehicle were bags from Ulta Beauty containing various stolen bottles of perfume as well as security sensor tags that had been removed from merchandise. The value of the stolen items was reported as $4,779.
Two of the three suspects arrested were adults and have been identified as Robert Keeshawn, 31, of New Britain and Cynphanie Merritt, 27, of Windsor.
Both Keeshawn and Merritt were charged with larceny third degree and conspiracy.
Merritt, who was found to be operating the vehicle during the pursuit, was additionally charged with disobeying the signal of an officer/engaging in pursuit, reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle under suspension, failure to maintain minimum insurance coverage and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.
The two were held until arraignment in Norwalk Superior Court on Tuesday.
In addition, computer checks run of Merritt showed that she currently held four outstanding warrants for her arrest. Three of these warrants were for violation of probation with the fourth being for failure to appear in court. The total of court set bonds for these warrants was $56,500. Merritt was unable to post these bonds. Merritt was also found to have an additional active warrant for her arrest held by the Manchester, New Hampshire police for larceny.
Also taken into custody was a female juvenile suspect. She was charged with larceny in the third degree, conspiracy, and interfering with an officer. This juvenile was also found to have an active felony arrest warrant held by the Farmington police for charges including robbery. She was issued a juvenile summons by this agency and turned over to Farmington officers.