Branford man charged with car theft in Milford; leads police on pursuit

David Schoendorf

MILFORD —  A Branford man is facing criminal charges after police said he stole a car and license plate from a dealer ship on New Haven Avenue Sunday morning.

Around 3:50 p.m., Milford police said responded to a burglary alarm at a gas station on New Haven Avenue. Police said an investigation showed that the front door was forced open and numerous cartons of cigarettes were taken from the gas station.

Police said surveillance footage provided them with description of the suspect wanted for the robbery and description of the car.

An hour later, police said a K-9 officer located the stolen car on I-95 northbound rest stop gas pumps with a suspect who had fit the description.

Police said an officer “attempted to block the vehicle and remove the suspect from the car but the vehicle drove off onto I-95 northbound where a brief chase ensued. The chase was stopped due to public safety concerns. The suspect later turned the vehicle around on I-95 northbound and began heading southbound.”

Police said the car was found a short time later in the I-95 northbound rest stop and recovered the car and numerous cartons of cigarettes. The suspect was not in the car at the time, police said.

“While doing a check of the I-95 southbound rest stop, the suspect was located and began to run from officers inside of the rest stop. After a brief foot chase, the suspect David Schoendorf was caught and placed under arrest,” said police.

Schoendorf, 42, was charged with first degree reckless endangerment, third degree larceny, possession of controlled substance, disorderly conduct, interfering with arrest, second degree breach of peace, reckless driving, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, misuse of license plate and no insurance.