Police in Old Saybrook and Westbrook are continuing to search for an "extremely dangerous" burglar and are warning residents to lock their doors.
Police said the man broke into a home on Mill Rock Road in Old Saybrook, but was interrupted when the homeowner returned around 7:45 p.m. Authorities believe the burglar also got into a home on nearby Dibble Road.( Thu Jun 26 15:38:42 PDT 2014 $__output )
The man fled in a car stolen from New London earlier in the day, then crashed on School House Road, according to police.
"I was coming out to do a little gardening and I heard a screech... and then a loud bang," said a resident of School House Road, who asked only to be identified by his first name, Mark. "I knew it was a car in our ditch."
Mark said the car came flying down School House Road, missed a turn and ended up in the woods.
"When I got here, the car was on its side and the driver was gone," Mark said. "I saw him down the road... He turned into that driveway and I guess apparently that's where he cut through the woods."
Residents within a mile and a half of the town park off School House Road were told to "shelter in place" Wednesday night as police and K-9 units canvassed the area and set up roadblocks.
A resident of Dibble Road saw the burglar in his yard and said the man tried to get into his garage.
Authorities called off the initial search early Thursday morning when they could not find the man they were looking for, authorities said. Residents should keep their homes and vehicles locked.
"We were pretty nervous," said Mark. "My family was in there and we were just watching out the window and had everything locked down."
Those who were asked to stay away from their neighborhoods during the search were allowed back into their homes Wednesday night.
Police sent an email alert to residents during the search, describing the suspect as 5 feet 7 inches tall with a blond crew-cut, white tank top and "leathery looking" jeans. He also had a cut on his left elbow.
"Suspect is considered extremely dangerous," police warned. "Please shelter in place and lock your doors. If you see anyone matching this description DO NOT approach and call 911 immediately."
Although the man is considered dangerous, authorities said they received no information indicating that he has a weapon.
"I'm thankful that my house isn't closer to the road and that he didn't wind up in my living room," Mark said.
A resident of Holly Drive, off School House Road, said that a man who matched the suspect's description and was covered in blood showed up at her door early on Wednesday evening. He said he'd been in an accident and needed to call his dad, but ran off before she learned of the manhunt.
Westbrook residents living near the Old Saybrook town line were also being asked to shelter in place, according to the Westbrook Emergency Management Twitter account, and police stopped cars and checked trunks as part of the search.
Anyone who may have seen the suspect or knows anything about him should call detectives at 860-395-3142.