Three suspects were arrested and one remains on the loose after two armed robberies and one police chase that ended in a car crash.
It was a wild day on Thursday for police in Hamden, New Haven and West Haven. On Friday, 18-year-old Howard Bookert, who is a high school student, faced judge.
According to police, the crime spree started here at this post office in West Haven.
In these court documents, one of the suspects, Bookert told police he met two of his alleged accomplices for the first time Thursday.
Bookert wrapped up his April vacation with a trip to court. The Hamden teen is one of three under arrest and one man who's still on the run. All are accused of first robbing this post office Thursday morning in West Haven and then taking more than $9,000 from the Wells Fargo Bank on Whitney Avenue in Hamden.
Austin is the manager at the Cork and Barrel. The package store is right across the street from the bank.
"You hear about break-ins from time to time the neighborhood, residential or businesses, but you'd never think people would go into a bank armed with guns, definitely surprising,” Burns said.
After speeding away from Hamden in a black Mercedes, police caught up with Bookert, 51-year-old Derrick White, who goes by the name "Fly," and a 17-year-old.
A fourth suspect, 25-year-old Malcom Haynes, who goes by the name "Black," is on the run after police said he ditched a 22 caliber rifle between two houses on Irving Street in New Haven.
Then as police there tried pulling over the Mercedes, the car crashed on frontage near the boulevard.
According to the police report, once in custody, Bookert allegedly admitted that he along with White and Haynes first held up the post office. The four drove to the bank later that afternoon. But, Bookert claimed he didn't take part and refused to get out of the car.
Bookert referenced several times he felt "Fly” and "Black" made him and 17-year-old assist in the robberies. It is reasonable to believe that Bookert, having already committed an armed robbery in West Haven earlier in the day had knowledge of the Hamden armed robbery based on the same modus operandi and presence of long guns, masks. Further Bookert made no attempt to leave he scene when left alone in the vehicle.
"I don't know what their plan was going after federally back businesses,” Burns said. “They're definitely going to do some time for that."
Bookert is being held on $50,000 and is due back in court next month.
White will be arraigned once he is out of the hospital and police continue to look for Haynes.
Anyone with information is asked to call police.
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