Middlebury police have arrested two suspects on charges related to a disturbing home invasion that happened in broad daylight while two children were inside.
Jennifer Labbe, 24, and Michael McCurrey, 32, are charged with home invasion, conspiracy to commit burglary, risk of injury to a minor, and conspiracy to commit larceny.
Labbe and McCurrey broke into a home on Yale Avenue around 4:30 on Thursday afternoon and stole cash, jewelry, a C.D. player, and a gun, according to police.
A 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were inside the home and approached the suspects thinking they were their parents, police said.
"They were startled by the strangers and the strangers were startled by them being home," said Lt. Richard Wildman of the Middlebury Police Department.
The startled suspects took off in a white van with a ladder on top. The vehicle belonged to a power washing company where McCurrey worked, according to police.
The children ran to a neighbor's house for help and were able to give police a description of the vehicle.
"I'm glad that they caught them," said the neighbor, who declined to give his name. "It's very scary. You don't expect it to happen in a place like this but it did. It was unfortunate, but they caught them."
Police tracked down the van after getting several tips from the public, including one from a Naugatuck firefighter who saw the vehicle driving erratically.
"He noticed that it had a logo up in the back of the van that said power washing and he noticed that the number was a 203 area code," said Lt. Wildman.
Police located that company and discovered the van had been returned by McCurrey with a stolen license plate attached, the logos ripped off, and the registration papers missing, police said.
Hours later, police arrested McCurrey and Labbe for the crime.
This may not be the only crime the two are responsible for.
Police in Newington, Newtown, and Easton are now looking at whether they're to blame for similar crimes in their towns, according to Middlebury police.
McCurrey was also picked up on a parole violation and is being held on a $750,000 bond. Labbe is being held on a $500,000 bond.
Both are scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on these charges on Monday.