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Off-Duty Stamford Cop Spots Stolen Jeep With Teenagers Onboard

Four teenagers were found in a stolen Jeep in Stamford.
Four teenagers were found in a stolen Jeep in Stamford. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. — Three teenage boys and a teenage girl were found in a stolen Jeep early Saturday and arrested, partially thanks to the quick-thinking of an off-duty Stamford police officer. 

During the overnight hours of Friday, June 30, a Jeep Cherokee was stolen from the driveway of a home in the Shippan area of Stamford, police said. 

A Stamford officer put out a broadcast, with the license plate and description, to other officers working that shift, police said.

At 2:45 a.m. Saturday, Officer David Squiteri was departing an extra duty job near High Ridge Road and Bradley Place when he spotted the Jeep pull into the parking lot of 856 High Ridge Road. 

Squiteri called dispatch to confirm it was the stolen vehicle and noted that there were four people inside, police said.

Officer Timothy Inverno, who was departing another side job in the area, arrived and they kept the vehicle in sight until the patrol division arrived, police said.

When the Jeep started to reverse out of the parking spot as Officer George Momplaisir arrived, the officers converged on the vehicle, police said. 

They removed the four occupants from the Jeep: three male juveniles and one female juvenile. All were handcuffed without incident. 

Two were in possession of credit cards from the vehicle's owner, police said, several of which had been used during the day. 

Also, the Fairfield and Westport Police Departments said they had pursued the stolen Jeep earlier in the day for reckless operation but called it off for safety reasons.

The vehicle sustained significant damage, including to body damage and the interior seats were intentionally cut with a knife, police said.

Each juvenile was charged with first-degree larceny, first-degree conspiracy at larceny, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree conspiracy at criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a stolen credit card. 

The operator was additionally charged with operation without a license. 

One juvenile was transported to the Bridgeport Detention Center due to his previous history and this incident. The other three were released to their parents.

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