Man flees with child to avoid being arrested

MILFORD - A man who allegedly stole up to $1,000 worth of merchandise from a Walmart Saturday tried to elude police by putting a 5-year-old child he was caring for into a Dumpster, then trying to climb in himself, police said Monday.

The incident unfolded as officers responded to a complaint of a shoplifting at Walmart, 1365 Boston Post Road, from which the suspect was trying to flee.

Police said Louis Shaffer, 18, of 8 Berges Ave., Stamford, and two women tried to steal the merchandise from the store, and as the trio was leaving the store, a loss-prevention employee attempted to stop them. It was then that Shaffer ran away with one of three young children who was with them, police said. Officers quickly found Shaffer, who had run behind a nearby building where he “allegedly placed the child into a Dumpster and was trying to climb in the Dumpster himself to elude police,” police said.

“You don’t see that every day, where someone places a child in the Dumpster to elude police,” said police spokesman Officer Jeffrey Nielsen. “Some people go to great lengths” to avoid being arrested.

Nielsen said Shaffer is related to two of the children present. The 5-year-old, and two 2-year-olds were with the trio, police said. Nielsen said the children were not involved in the theft of the merchandise.

The state Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident, police said.

Police also arrested Lisa Shaffer, 22, also of 8 Berges Ave., Stamford, and Jacqueline McCoogle, 21, of 1 Lawn Ave., Milford. Louis Shaffer was carrying fireworks when he was arrested, police said.

The trio allegedly took a DVD player, children’s clothes, makeup and bedding accessories, police said. When they entered the store, they took Walmart shopping bags and placed the stolen items inside, then tried to leave the store, police said.

Both Shaffers and McCoogle are charged with fourth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny, and three counts each of risk of injury to a minor. Louis Shaffer also is charged with possession of an explosive device.

Lisa Shaffer and McCoogle are free on a promise to appear Jan. 26 in Superior Court in Milford, while Louis Shaffer was released on $2,500 bail. He is due to appear in court the same day.