Easton police nab a ‘person of interest’ in Weston burglary

Weston PoliceA man whom Weston police are calling a “person of interest” in a Weston home burglary, where more than $20,000 worth of jewelry was stolen, was arrested in Easton.

Francisco Mendez, 27, of Meriden, was arrested by Easton police on Friday, Sept. 14, after an alleged attempted break-in at an Easton home.

Weston police say Mr. Mendez is a “person of interest” in a burglary that took place in Weston on Thursday, Sept. 6, on Crystal Lake Drive. A resident reported seeing a white male with a backpack that day walking on the property and later discovered more than $20,000 worth of jewelry missing from the home.

Police created a composite sketch of the man and distributed it to outside law enforcement agencies.

The incident in Easton occurred about a week later, on Friday, Sept. 14, around 1:30 p.m.

According to Easton Police Chief James Candee, a resident of Old Sow Road in Easton was at home with her husband at the time, when she heard a noise and went to see what had caused it. She noticed that a screen to one of the windows had been tampered with and was unlatched and ajar an inch.

The woman looked outside to see a young man drinking from a garden hose, near the door. She went to the door and asked the man what he was doing. He told her he was a Kirby vacuum salesman, Chief Candee said.

Speaking to him through the door, she told him to wait on the porch while she went  to get paper and pen to take down the information. Meanwhile, she called 911 and told police she thought the man outside her house had tried to get in.

She continued engaging the man in converastion through the door as she waited for police to arrive. Easton Police Officer Glen Fergason was first on scene, but the man fled when he saw the police cruiser, Chief Candee said.

Officer Fergason checked to make sure the resident was OK and broadcast a description of the suspect to other officers, who found him in the swamp behind a church on the corner of Center and Westport Roads in Easton.

“We were lucky a bunch of guys were on duty and able to surround him,” Chief Candee said.

Officer Fergason and Easton Captain Richard Doyle pursued the suspect on foot through the swamp, sustaining lacerations from the overgrowth and brambles but no serious injuries, Chief Candee said.

They were able to grab and apprehend him and take him to police headquarters.

The suspect gave an alias, but a fingerprint check identified him as Francisco Mendez, 27, of Meriden, who had two active paperless re-arrest warrants (PRAWNS) out of Meriden against him.

Easton police served the PRAWNs, both of which were for failure to appear in court. The first was in connection with a larceny arrest and the second was for a probation violation, Chief Candee said.

Easton police charged him with criminal impersonation, criminal trespass, attempted burglary and two counts of interfering with an officer.

Mr. Mendez was held at police headquarters over the weekend on $100,000 bond and taken to court Sept. 17.

Wolcott and Cromwell police also had active burglary warrants against him.

Weston police say that Mr. Mendez is not an official suspect in the Weston burglary at this time, but he is a person of interest and the case is under investigation.

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