Couple that fled after shoplifting spotted by off-duty cop
FAIRFIELD — A couple who sped away from Home Depot on Monday morning with unpaid merchandise were later spotted by an off-duty officer and taken into custody.
According to police, Home Depot security spotted Kevin Kelly, 34, who had been identified as a shoplifter previously, pick up three DeWalt drills and head for the exit. When he saw security, he allegedly said he forgot something and turned around. However, the report said, he left via another exit, getting into a waiting tan Buick LeSabre.
An on-duty officer heard the car’s description and spotted the car getting onto Interstate 95 southbound, and followed. He pulled in front of the car and activated the lights and told them to move into the breakdown lane. They did, and the officer pulled over. He spotted an infant in a car seat in the back seat.
As the officer began to get out of his cruiser, the Buick took off, driving down the breakdown lane, police said. Because of the heavy rain, traffic and the infant in the car, the officer did not engage in a pursuit. State Police spotted the car near Exit 19, and an off-duty Fairfield officer, who had a radio in his car, saw the car pull into a nearby parking lot. Kelly and the driver, Tracy Hollister, 33, were both taken into custody. The 16-month-old child was turned over to a grandparent and the state Department of Children and Families was notified.
On the backseat of the car were the three drills, worth $1,097.
Kelly, of Bassett Road in Branford, was charged with fourth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny and risk of injury to a minor. He was held in lieu of $1,000 bond and processed for failure to appear warrant out of Branford, which carried a $2,500 bond. Kelly is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Bridgeport on Aug. 22.
Hollister, who lives on Wilderwood Road in Guilford, was charged with interfering with an officer, risk of injury to a minor and conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny. She was released on a promise to appear in Bridgeport on Aug. 22 as well.