Milford police arrest man in connection with theft of SWAT gear

MILFORD — Police have found and charged a man they were looking for in connection with the theft of a gun and other SWAT equipment from a police officer’s unlocked car.

Justin Parsell, 26, is accused of stealing an M4 Rifle, a ballistic vest and night vision goggles on January 4, 2017 from an officer’s car in Milford. The items were recovered shortly after the incident. Police say Bridgeport Sgt. William Simpson left his car unlocked outside of his home on Jan. 3 when the SWAT weapon was stolen.

On Tuesday, police received a tip that Parsell was in near the Stop and Shop in Milford. After a brief chase, police took him into custody.

He is charged with larceny, burglary, theft of a firearm, criminal possession of firearm, possession of an assault rifle, 5 counts of possession of high-capacity magazine, and possession of a silencer.

Parsell was believed to be travelling with an 18-year-old girl from Milford who was reported missing, but police say she returned home shortly after the arrest warrant was issued.

Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said Sgt. Simpson has been placed on restrictive duty pending an internal investigation.

Parsell is currently being held on $150,000 bond.