WESTPORT, Conn. – The suspect who caused a lockdown at Greens Farms Academy in Westport on Friday afternoon after he abandoned a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee there, led police on a high-speed chase hours before the incident and remained at large Friday evening, police said.
It all started at about 10:30 a.m. when Westport police received a call from a homeowner at 29 Blue Ribbon Drive. The woman, who was returning home, told police she saw an unknown vehicle parked in her driveway, and that an unknown man was driving away in her second vehicle, the Jeep, police said.
With police still on the phone, the woman followed her Jeep and relayed its location to police, Capt. Vincent Penna said in a statement.
At about 10:35 a.m., officers saw the Jeep traveling on Sherwood Island Connector, where they tried to stop it, Penna said.
The suspect refused to stop and entered I-95 north, where he led officers on a chase. Pursuing officers lost sight of the Jeep between Exits 19 and 20 and began searching the surrounding areas with the assistance of Fairfield Police, Penna said.
A short time later, Penna said, a Fairfield officer spotted the Jeep, which again engaged officers in a high-speed pursuit on local roads. The Jeep re-entered Westport on Greens Farm Road and again evaded officers. The Jeep was last seen in the area of Greens Farms Road and Beachside Avenue.
At about 11:30 a.m., Westport police issued a CodeRed emergency telephone message to Greens Farms area residents, alerting them of the stolen vehicle.
At about 12:50 p.m., a patrol officer spotted the Jeep in a rear parking lot at Greens Farms Academy, at 35 Beachside Ave. The suspect was not in sight.
As a result, the school was placed under lockdown. Officers, with help from K-9 units, searched the grounds and school buildings, Penna said. It was later learned that the suspect had stolen another car from school grounds, Penna said.
Anyone who may have information about these incidents or the suspect is asked to call the Westport Detective Bureau at 203-341-6080.