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3 shoplifting suspects arrested, charged after multi-town police pursuit

WESTPORT — Police say two adults were arrested, and one juvenile issued a summons after a shoplifting incident turned into a police pursuit.

According to Westport police, they were called to the Ulta Beauty store at 1365 Post Road East around 4:40 p.m. on a report of shoplifting.

The caller said that she saw a man and a woman who was known to her through other shoplifting incidents enter the store. Police say staff monitored the pair as they moved through the store, filling bags with various bottles of perfume. The staff reportedly tried to speak with the pair, but they were ignored. The pair left the store without paying.

Police say the staff was able to provide a detailed description of the suspects and the license plate on the car.

Cynphanie Merritt

The description was broadcasted, and shortly after, a Westport officer saw the car trying to enter the Merritt Parkway on the northbound side at exit 42. The officer reportedly tried to stop the car, but the suspects ignored her and continued northbound into Fairfield.

The car and suspect descriptions were also broadcast to state police and surrounding agencies. Police say the suspects entered into Fairfield and Westport officers terminated their pursuit.

Police say shortly after they discontinued their pursuit, it was reported that the suspects were stopped at a northbound rest area on the Parkway in Fairfield by Fairfield police. Westport officers arrived a short time later and took three suspects into custody in connection to the shoplifting incident.

According to police, Ulta staff positively identified the man and woman inside the car as the shoplifting suspects. A juvenile girl was also inside the car.

Police found the bags from Ulta that contained the stolen perfume as well as security sensor tags that had been removed. Police say the value of the stolen items was $4,779.

One of the suspects was identified as 31-year-old New Britain resident Robert Keeshawn. The other adult suspect was 27-year-old Cynphanie Merritt of Windsor.

Both Keeshawn and Merrit were charged with the following:

Robert Keeshawn: 

  • Larceny in the Third Degree
  • Conspiracy at Larceny in the Third Degree

Cynphanie Merritt:

  • Larceny in the Third Degree
  • Conspiracy at Larceny in the Third Degree

    Robert Keeshawn

  • Engaging in Pursuit
  • Reckless Driving
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Under Suspension
  • Failure to Maintain Minimum Insurance Coverage
  • Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle.

Both Keeshawn and Merritt were held on a $5,000 and were arraigned on Tuesday morning.

Police say Merritt had four outstanding warrants for her arrest in Connecticut. Three of the warrants were for Violation of Probation, and the fourth warrant was for failing to appear. The total of court-set bonds for those warrants was $56,500 and Merritt was unable to post it. Merritt also had an additional active warrant for her arrest in New Hampshire for Larceny.

The juvenile girl who was also taken into custody was charged with:

  • Larceny in the Third Degree
  • Conspiracy at Larceny in the Third Degree
  • Interfering with an Officer

Police say the juvenile had an active felony arrest warrant from Farmington police on robbery charges. She was issued a juvenile summons and turned over to Farmington officers.

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