Third Arrest in Gun, Bulletproof Vest Theft from State Police Cruiser

A third suspect has been arrested in the theft of an AR-15 rifle, two loaded magazines and a bulletproof vest from a state police cruiser in Milford in March.

James Lee, 19, of New Haven, has been charged with firearms trafficking, larceny, stealing a firearm and possession of an assault weapon, among other charges.

The gun, vest and two fully loaded 30-round magazines were taken from the locked trunk of the cruiser on Rutland Road in Milford, according to state police.

In all, there were 12 car break-ins on West Rutland Road, Plains Road and Haystack Road and a green 2015 Ford Fusion with Vermont plates GHK528 was stolen at the end of the crime spree, according to Milford police.

In the months since the theft, state police, New Haven Police and the FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force have been working together on the case and were able to secure seven warrants for four people.

According to an affidavit, on Friday, May 20, Lee was arrested by New Haven police on an active narcotics arrest warrant. When police executed a search warrant at his resident, a firearm reported stolen was recovered. Lee waived his rights and explained his involvement in stealing the AR-15 .

Lee stated that on Tuesday, March 8, he was picked up by two friends, identified as Leandre Crockett, 18, of New Haven and “Julio.” Julio was later identified as Travis Ingram, 20, of New Haven. The three then headed to Milford “where a State Trooper car was at” and began checking cars.

Lee claimed that he and Crockett separated from Ingram and when they reunited Ingram was holding a bag with an AR-15 and ammunition. They dropped the bag and drove a stolen car to New Haven with the AR-15 in the back seat. Lee said he was then dropped off at his home with the stolen firearm.

Lee said he originally intended to help sell the stolen gun but then decided against it. He claimed Ingram sold the stolen AR-15 and shared the profit with Lee.

Lee was already in Department of Correction custody and being arraigned on an unrelated case when he was arrested Wednesday. He appeared in court in New Haven Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court in Milford on Thursday.

Travis Ingram and Leandre Crockett have already been charged in this case. There is one pending arrest scheduled for next week for another suspect who is already in Department of Correction custody.

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