Warrant details multiple vehicle robberies, North Haven kidnapping

Warrant details multiple vehicle robberies, North Haven kidnapping

Record-Journal
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Keith Johnson (Courtesy of the North Haven Police Department)

MERIDEN — The warrant for a New Haven man facing charges in a kidnapping at a North Haven gas station details another vehicle robbery just before that incident, then a crash where a woman was injured.

Keith Johnson, 53, of 425 Dixwell Ave., New Haven, was charged Monday with two counts each of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, robbery of an occupied vehicle, first-degree threatening and criminal possession of a firearm. During his arraignment in Meriden Superior Court on Tuesday, a judge set bond at $500,000 and transferred the case to the New Haven Superior Court, which handles more serious cases. A public defender said Johnson had been working at a temp agency.

On Sept. 29 around 9:50 p.m. police were dispatched to Winthrop Avenue in New Haven for a report of a robbery, according to the warrant. The residents said a man approached a couple and their daughter, pointed a handgun at them and demanded money. The man ordered the family to the rear of their home, got into a vehicle and drove away.

Just before midnight, two 19-year-old women were getting fuel at the Sunoco Gas Station, 641 Washington Ave. (Route 5), when a man, later identified as Johnson, approached them, pulled out a handgun and told them to get into the car, the warrant said. The teens got into the car, Johnson got into the backseat and told the teen in the driver’s seat to drive to Hartford. Johnson demanded all their belongings and cash, the warrant noted.

The women told police he was pointing the gun at them repeatedly while in the car, and at one point got upset that one of them tried to comfort the other and yelled that he would shoot them, the warrant said. The teens said Johnson was acting very erratically, going from enraged to saying they reminded him of his daughter.

The driver said Johnson took over driving when they were in Wethersfield, and once they got to Hartford, he told them to get out of the car, the report said. They walked to Hartford Hospital and called police.

Around 1:10 a.m. Hartford police responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident where the car fled the scene. The vehicle involved was determined to be the same one the teens were kidnapped in after police ran the license plate number provided by a witness, the warrant said.

Two women on a moped said a car struck them, the warrant said. One of the women was taken to the hospital for treatment of a laceration that needed 25 staples, a concussion, and bruises.

Police recovered the car on Judson Street in Hartford on Sept. 30. On Oct. 7 police recovered the vehicle stolen from the New Haven family at 79 Washington Street in North Haven, which they noted is only 2.3 miles from where the kidnapping took place, the warrant said.

Police found DNA evidence inside one of the vehicles and noted it came back as a match to Johnson, the warrant said.

Police went to Johnson’s home on Oct. 9, and he went with officers to the police station but declined to speak with police and asked for an attorney, the warrant said.

Police noted Johnson’s criminal history includes arrests for murder, first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, riot in institution, possession of narcotics, and noted he was incarcerated for just over 21 years in a federal facility for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Johnson was arraigned in Meriden Superior Court on Tuesday.

The judge set bond at $500,000 and transferred the case to the New Haven Superior Court part A docket, which handles more serious cases.

A public defender said Johnson had been working at a temp agency. The case was continued to Oct. 24.


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