Government Police/Fire

West Hartford Police Arrest 3 After Armed Robbery at Home Depot and Pursuit

West Hartford Police Department hybrid SUV. Courtesy photo (we-ha.com file photo)

Three suspects who fled the scene of a shoplifting incident at Home Depot were taken into custody by West Hartford Police on Tuesday.

By Ronni Newton 

West Hartford Police said that three suspects – one of whom pointed a gun at a loss prevention employee who tried to stop a shoplifting incident in progress Tuesday morning – fled the scene but were later taken into custody.

According to police, units responded to Home Depot on New Park Avenue in West Hartford at 8:58 a.m. Tuesday for a shoplifting that was in progress.

Police said two male suspects were pushing a cart containing merchandise stolen from Home Depot to a car in the parking lot. Loss prevention employees attempted to stop them, but the suspects did not comply and a brief struggle ensued.

One of the suspects brandished a “black semi-automatic firearm,” pointing it at the loss prevention employees, police said.

Police said a female who had been sitting in a black Land Rover in the parking lot assisted the two males in loading the stolen items into the vehicle, and the three fled in the vehicle onto New Park Avenue. Police quickly located the vehicle but the driver did not comply with a request to stop and instead engaged officers in pursuit, heading eastbound into Hartford on I-84.

The gun that had been brandished – which was recovered by West Hartford officers and turned out to be a facsimile – was thrown from the window of Land Rover onto I-84, landing near Exit 46.

With the help of the Capitol Regional Automobile Theft Task Force, West Hartford Community Support officers were able to locate the Land Rover in the vicinity of Capen and Vine streets in Hartford, and successfully took the three suspects into custody without incident.

The three suspects have been identified as Juan Surillo, 38, of Hartford; Jorge Maldonado-Ramos, 34, with a last know address in Hartford; and Elizabeth Kobus, 33, of Hartford.

Surillo’s charges include first-degree robbery, fourth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny, carrying a dangerous weapon, weapons in a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, first-degree threatening, second-degree breach of peace, interfering with an officer, engaging police in pursuit, reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

Online court records indicate that Surillo has prior convictions for multiple incidents, including larceny and carrying a dangerous weapon, over the past six years. He has been sentenced to and served several jail terms – one of which was for an escape from jail in 2017.

Surillo is being held on $150,000 bond, police said.

Maldonado-Ramos was charged with fourth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny. He was released on $10,000 non-surety bond, police said.

Online court records indicate that Maldonado-Ramos also faces pending charges for other incidents over the past several years including sixth-degree larceny, violation of a protective order, breach of peace, and failure to appear.

Kobus was charged with fourth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny, and was released on $10,000 non-surety bond, police said. A search of court records in Connecticut did not indicate any previous charges or convictions for Kobus.

No one was injured and there were no traffic crashes resulting from the incident, police said.

Police are continuing to investigate this incident and ask that anyone with further intimation contact them at 860-523-5203 or via the anonymous tip line by phone at 860-570-8969 or email [email protected].

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