Police have arrested five teens, including a 14-year-old driver, who are accused of stealing a car from Stamford and crashing into a police cruiser in Branford Monday night.
The investigation started when officers responded to Selden Avenue, in the Pine Orchard section of Branford, at 9:45 p.m. to investigate reports of a suspicious vehicle after receiving reports of five vehicles being stolen from the area less than 24 hours earlier.
The officers were looking for a Honda minivan with a bike rack on the back when a resident told 911 operators that a white truck had just crashed into parked cars in his driveway and the people who were in the vehicle were leaving in a Honda minivan, police said.
As Officer John Abely was approaching the area, the minivan hit the front of his patrol vehicle, went off the road, hit a rock and rolled onto its side, according to police.
All five occupants were trapped in the vehicle until they were removed and officers took them into custody. No one had serious injuries.
Police said the five people had arrived in the area in the stolen Honda, then stole a 2018 Ford truck from a home on Totoket Road and crashed it at the end of Pleasant Point Road.
"This is a crime of opportunity. As long as people leave their cars unlocked or their keys inside their vehicle, people are going to go in them and steal them," Captain Geoffrey Morgan, of Branford Police, said.
Three teens from Bridgeport and the 14-year-old driver, who police said is from Derby, were charged with two counts of larceny in the first degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree, two counts of Burglary in the third degree and two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree.
They were released to their parents and are scheduled to appear in a juvenile court.
Patrick Geyer, 19, of Bridgeport, was charged with the same offenses and is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. He is going to be arraigned in New Haven Court today.