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UPDATED: Stonington police say three men used SUV to try to rip ATM out of pharmacy

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Stonington — One man was arrested after he and three others unsuccessfully attempted to use a stolen Kia Sorento SUV to drag an ATM out of the Walgreen's pharmacy on Route 1 in Pawcatuck early Tuesday morning, police say.

According to police, the four masked men pried open the door of the pharmacy in the Pawcatuck shopping center about 12:25 a.m. Then they wrapped one end of a steel cable around the ATM and attached the other end to the back seat of the SUV. When they repeatedly tried to drive forward, they ripped the back seat out of the SUV. Both the doors and ATM suffered extensive damage.

At that point police arrived on the scene and tried to block in the SUV, which drove over some curbs and sped off onto Pequot Trail. Police did not purse it, as their policy prohibits chasing suspects unless the need to immediately apprehend them outweighs the potential danger a pursuit might pose to the public, as in the case of serious crime such as a shooting or kidnapping.

Police put out a bulletin to area departments and at 3:45 a.m. state police were able to apprehend one of the suspects when they crashed the Kia on Route 9 in Essex. The three other men then fled. Police are continuing to investigate.

Stonington police charged the man who was apprehended — Francisco Maldonado, 28, of New Britain — with third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief, criminal attempt to commit third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree larceny. He was released after posting a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear July 15 in New London Superior Court.


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