A day after Branford police warned drivers to remove keys from parked vehicles, they arrested a man and four teens in a vehicle stolen from Stamford.
Patrick Geyer, 19, of Bridgeport, was identified as the man, according to police.
Police said the stolen vehicle crashed into a Branford police cruiser around 9:45 p.m. on Monday.
Officers said they were in the area of Sheldon Avenue as a response to a suspicious vehicle in the area.
The area is in the Pine Orchard section of town.
Police said five vehicles were reported stolen from the area 24 hours earlier.
Peter Heynen’s 2018 ford pick-up truck sports a few scratches and a minor dent after a group of teens swiped it last night from outside his Branford home.
“The police officer said do you know where your car is, I said it’s in my driveway he said no it's not. It’s been stolen,” Heynen said.
Officers sought a dark-colored Honda minivan with a bike rack on the rear.
A resident dialed 911 and said people in a white truck had crashed into parked cars in his driveway on Pleasant Point Road. He said the occupants left in the Honda minivan.
As an officer approached the area, the driver of the minivan struck the front of the cruiser. The minivan then traveled off the roadway, hit a rock and rolled onto its side.
All five occupants were trapped in the vehicle until officers removed and arrested them.
Police said they learned that the suspects arrived in the area in the stolen Honda then stole a 2018 Ford truck from a home on Totoket Road before crashing it on Pleasant Point Road.
All four juveniles, including three from Bridgeport and a 14-year-old driver from Derby, were charged with larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. They were released into the custody of their parents.
“We’d venture to say within the past several months, throughout the New Haven area, including Branford, East Haven, North Haven, North Branford, Guilford, over 100 vehicles have been stolen and if you average at $15,000 a car, that’s over $1.5 million dollars in auto thefts," said Branford Police Capt. Geoff Morgan.
Geyer was charged with the same offenses but held on a $50,000 bond.
He was given an arraignment date of Tuesday in New Haven.
This was the second time in less than a month that a police cruiser was struck by a stolen vehicle in Branford.
On March 27, police reported that three young suspected car thieves crashed their stolen vehicle on Indian Neck Avenue. Dash cam video captured the collision. Only two suspects were captured.
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