Fairfield bank robbery suspect arrested after pursuit
FAIRFIELD — A New Britain man was charged after a bank robbery and a brief pursuit with police on Friday.
Nirav Patel, 29, of New Britain, was charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree larceny, first-degree reckless endangerment, evading responsibility of an accident, engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving and failure to obey a traffic signal.
Just before 3 p.m., the Fairfield Police Department’s Emergency Communications Center got a call for a crash in front of the Super Stop & Shop at 1160 Kings Highway Cutoff. Shortly after, there was a report of a hold up alarm at the People’s Bank inside the same store.
Communications personnel reached out to employees at People’s Bank, who confirmed the bank had just been robbed by a man wearing a black jacket. During the robbery, the suspect — later identified as Patel — passed a written note to an employee, demanding cash.
Patel got an undisclosed amount of cash and took off, police said.
On scene, officers talked to witnesses, who said the robber fled in a silver sedan-type vehicle at a high rate of speed, causing the crash at the exit to Stop & Shop. From there, witnesses said, the driver headed east on Kings Highway Cutoff.
Soon after, someone reported a vehicle with heavy front end damage had just gotten on Interstate 95 south at Meadowbrook Road.
Connecticut State Police tapped into traffic cameras along the highway and spotted a vehicle on the shoulder of I-95 south near Exit 17 in Westport that matched the description given by witnesses and looked to have front end damage. The driver was seen on camera checking out the damage to his vehicle, police said.
As Fairfield officers approached the area, Patel got back into his car and engaged the officers in a short pursuit, police said. Patel got off the highway at Exit 17 and crashed nearby on Route 136 at Ferry Lane in Westport.
Patel fled from the car on foot and officers gave chase. After having crossed all lanes of travel on I-95, officers took Patel into custody near the I-95 south entrance ramp with the help of Westport police.
Patel is being held on a $100,000 bond.