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Suspect Charged in West Hartford Abduction and Robbery Incident

West Hartford Police Department Interceptor SUV. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A week after an incident at Harvey’s Cafe Market, West Hartford Police obtained a warrant and arrested a suspect on charges that include kidnapping and first-degree robbery.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police have arrested a suspect in connection with an incident that Chief Vernon Riddick earlier referred to as a “very disturbing robbery,” on charges that include kidnapping, assault, and first-degree robbery.

West Hartford Police said earlier that Hartford Police had notified them on Jan. 13 that an individual found around 10:30 p.m. that night walking on Windsor Street with his hands duct-taped together and claimed he had been robbed and tied to a chair at Harvey’s Cafe Market at 161 Oakwood Ave. A week later police arrested a Bloomfield man in connection with the incident.

Capt. Michael Perruccio said Wednesday that the suspect, Juan McRae of Bloomfield, was arrested near his home on Jan. 20 following an investigation by the West Hartford Police Department’s Community Support Unit and Detective Division.

McRae, 46, was charged with first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree unlawful restraint, first-degree assault, second degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree larceny, and cruelty to persons, in addition to conspiracy to commit several of the crimes.

The initial bond was set at $150,000, Perruccio said, but according to online court records was increased to $500,000. McRae remains in custody and is due back in court on Feb. 25.

After Hartford Police told West Hartford Police what the man they found on Windsor Street said, officers responded to Harvey’s Cafe Market, Riddick said during a presentation to the West Hartford Town Council on Jan. 14, and there they found what indeed appeared to be a crime scene.

He told We-Ha.com that when police arrived the door to the market was open. After police ensured that the building was empty they entered and “discovered evidence of a crime scene.”

Police obtained a search warrant for a warehouse in Hartford, and evidence found there added credibility to the claim that something happened at Harvey’s, Riddick said earlier. Details about what was found in the warehouse have not been provided.

The victim was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

A car that belonged to the victim’s family was stolen from the parking lot at Harvey’s that night, Riddick said, but was recovered the following day in Hartford.

Riddick said at the time that police did “not believe it was a random act,” and added that “at this time there does not appear to be a danger to the public.”

Perruccio said Wednesday that the case remains “active and no further details will be released at this time.”

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