Carjacker Took Jeep with Grandmother, Grandchildren Inside: Police

A woman and her two grandchildren children are unharmed after the car they were riding in was carjacked by a robbery suspect in Southington Sunday, but the suspect remains at large.

Police said the incident started around 1:15 p.m. when they were called to the People’s Bank inside Stop & Shop on North Main Street for a reported robbery.

The suspects took off in a red minivan. An officer spotted the vehicle and tried to stop it, but the suspects kept driving, police said.

According to police, the suspect vehicle suffered a flat tire, at which point the suspects pulled over at the Shell gas station at 212 Main St. One suspect, identified as Norman Renaldi, 44, of Meriden, was captured, but a second suspect got into a Jeep with a woman and her two young grandchildren, age 3 and 6, in it and took off.

An arrest warrant has been obtained for the second suspect who has been identified as Lamar McCarthy.

Police said Renaldi had a knife, but did not use it.

The clerk that was working at the gas station told NBC Connecticut that he saw a man get out of a van and jump into a Jeep while the driver was pumping gas. 

The suspect left the woman and children at a commuter lot by exit 26 off Interstate 84. They were not injured and were reunited with the driver, police said.

Police were able to recover the money stolen during the robbery - which totaled $12,669.

Renaldi was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, criminal attempt to commit kidnapping, criminal attempt to commit robbery involving an occupied motor vehicle, engaging in pursuit, interfering with an officer, and illegal possession of narcotics. He was held on a $500,000 bond and was due in court Monday.

Police are still looking for McCarthy. The stolen car is a white Jeep Cherokee bearing CT registration AJ13246.

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