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Woman fleeing Conn. police crashes into cruisers, injures 7 officers

Police said the 25-year-old woman has been linked to 41 recent vehicle break-ins

By Christine Dempsey
Hartford Courant

WATERBURY, Conn. — Seven Waterbury officers were injured Sunday when a wanted woman drove into their police cars before crashing in Monroe.

The officers were treated at Saint Mary’s Hospital and released, Lt. Ryan Bessette said Monday.

Hannah Casperson, 25, was placed under arrest and taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport to be treated for injuries police said are not life-threatening.

According to police, shortly before 8:45 am. Sunday they received information that Casperson was in a Hummer at Rutledge and East Main streets. She was a suspect in “recent criminal activity,” police said; Wolcott police said she was the getaway driver in a string of car break-ins in their town.

When the officers went to talk to her, police said Casperson sped forward, striking a police car before leaving the area and then hitting another police cruiser at East Main and Brass Mill Drive. She then got onto I-84 West.

In all, Bessette said, eight police vehicles were damaged.

She later lost control of the Hummer and struck a utility pole near Wheeler Road and Monroe Turnpike, or Route 111, in Monroe, said police, who placed her under arrest before she was taken to the hospital.

Casperson will be processed on “multiple outstanding warrants,” police said, in addition to new charges, once she is discharged.

The crashes are actively being investigated by various departments, police said.

Wolcott police said the Hummer — and Casperson — were linked to 41 vehicle break-ins in their town last week.

They happened late Thursday, early Friday in the area of an elderly housing complex on Wolfs Hill Road and in the Munson and Brooks Hill roads area, police said. Officers learned that thieves got into parked cars through unlocked doors and when they found a car that was locked, they broke the windows. They suspected a man broke into the cars while a female getaway driver, identified as Casperson, waited in a white Hummer.

Wolcott police said they found the Hummer in a local grocery store parking lot and discovered the male suspect inside the store, near the exit, with a cart full of meat. They arrested him but the female driver got away.

The man, Thomas Crawford, 31, of New Haven Road in Naugatuck, was charged with 41 counts of third-degree burglary, 41 counts of conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, 41 counts of conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny and 41 counts of second-degree criminal mischief. Police set his bail at $75,000.

Waterbury police plan to release more information later in the day Monday.

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