OXFORD — Police reported they are close to making an arrest after a robbery at Market 32 on Tuesday, November 9, which led to a viral video showing the suspects casually loading their vehicles with stolen goods.
“The biggest issue that we have with the whole thing is everyone is filming the event and not one person made a phone call to 911,” Resident Trooper Sgt. John Acampora said. “A store employee had instructed another store employee to contact 911. That call was never made to us.”
The call came in about 10 minutes after the suspects fled the area, according to Sgt. Acampora, and it came in through the routine police line. The robbery occurred between 6:30 to 6:45 a.m. when a group of individuals were observed and followed through the store based on suspicious behavior.
Sgt. Acampora said that in the video, the suspects nonchalantly loaded two cars with stolen items and took off before police arrived, heading south on Route 67 into Seymour. The cars had no license plates and had been parked in the fire lane.
“Consequently, since we are only minutes up the road without lights and sirens, we had a delayed response time that was out of our control,” said Sgt. Acampora reported.
He said local police identified persons of interest due to sharing intelligence with surrounding police departments and are awaiting an arrest warrant. He said this particular group has been hitting multiple stores in the northeast including a Stew Leonard’s in Danbury on October 31. The suspects take a variety of things like seafood, meats, laundry detergent and more.
“I am surprised at how brazen it was because we are so frequently in the area; we almost always have a cruiser there,” Sgt. Acampora said.
He explained that had police been called and the suspects attempted to flee, police would operate with the same no pursuit policy as other police departments, but could use other tools such as blocking the exits to block the suspects’ vehicles.
Police cannot explore their options, Sgt. Acampora said, if they are not called to the scene. He called a pursuit at that time of day a liability issue, especially with the morning rush hour about to begin.
He said police need people to tell the police department when these things are going on. He stressed it would have significantly increased the chances of police intervening with the offenders at the time.
He added he would never condone anyone getting involved at intervening a robbery or a crime, but encouraged the public to get as much information as possible.
“You can get vehicle description, plate numbers, description of people involved, if there were any firearms, did the suspect say anything,” said Sgt. Acampora. “All those details can help us put the pieces together and conduct a criminal investigation and determine who they [the suspects] are. Most of these crimes are solved.”
The store’s staff have been cooperative and have been sharing information and the store’s surveillance system, according to Sgt. Acampora.
“We’re always patrolling the area and we have a great relationship with Market 32,” Sgt. Acampora said. “They have seen a decrease from $30,000 worth of theft down to $9,000.”