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    Monday, March 20, 2023

    Norwich man charged in Preston armed robbery

    Preston―The theft of an unknown quantity of vape cartridges at gunpoint from a Preston convenience store led to the arrest Tuesday of a Norwich man who now faces multiple gun and robbery charges, according to state police.

    Noel E. Dejesus, 22, of 24 Western Ave., was charged in New London Superior Court where he was appearing on other charges, with first-degree robbery, first-degree threatening and sixth-degree larceny. State Police say the arrest stems from a holdup at the Bestway Food Store and Citgo gas station on Norwich-Westerly Road on July 19.

    Dejesus also has pending cases in New London and Hartford superior courts, according to the State Judicial Branch data base. The Hartford cases are sealed.

    An arrest warrant affidavit from a detective with the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crimes Unit said surveillance footage, tips from the public, and information from the Connecticut Intelligence Center helped lead state police to Dejesus.

    State police said they got the chance to talk to Dejesus following his arrest Aug. 6 on charges related to an armed robbery that day at a North Stonington hotel, the affidavit said. A handgun was recovered from his backpack at the time of the arrest.

    Dejesus, who waived his rights and agreed to be interviewed by a state police detective, admitted his involvement in the Preston convenience store theft as well as unspecified car dealership burglaries and car thefts being investigated by the state intelligence center, the affidavit said.

    Dejesus admitted to stealing a pack of vape cartridges from the convenience store but denied showing a real gun, according to the affidavit. He said the “fake” firearm was an airsoft gun.

    Pressed by state police about why he took only vape cartridges and not any money, the affidavit said Dejesus told them he saw the convenience store clerk was scared and realized he’d made a mistake.

    The arrest warrant affidavit, submitted by state police on Aug. 9 and signed by a Superior Court judge a week later, specified the major crimes squad detective included only enough information to establish probable cause rather than using all the information state police had gathered up to that point.

    State Judicial Branch records show charges against Dejesus for the North Stonington case included first-degree robbery, first-degree threatening, carrying a pistol without a permit and illegal alteration of firearm identification.

    Dejesus, whose next court date is Oct. 5, is being held at the Corrigan Correctional Center.

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