Police: Catalytic converter thieves point gun at witnesses, flee cops in Milford

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Milford police are warning residents after a gun was pointed at two people this week and a man was slashed interrupting a catalytic converter theft last month.

Milford police are warning residents after a gun was pointed at two people this week and a man was slashed interrupting a catalytic converter theft last month.

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MILFORD — Police are warning residents to not confront thieves after a gun was pointed at two people this week — one month after a local man needed 300 stitches when he interrupted a similar catalytic converter theft in his driveway.

Milford police said the latest incident occurred early Wednesday morning and led to a chase into New Haven.

Three men in ski masks stole a catalytic converter from a vehicle in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn on Old Gate Lane around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, then went to a Hampton Inn on Plains Road to attempt another similar theft, police said.

When they were confronted by a man, police said they drove up to him and a woman and pointed a gun at them.

The suspects then fled the parking lot on Plains Road in a red Mazda sedan, police said.

Police said they found the vehicle in the parking lot of a Motel Six on Schoolhouse Road, but the driver sped off and headed onto Interstate 95.

Police said they lost sight of the vehicle in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven.

Police warned residents to “be a good witness” instead of trying to confront the suspects.

“Besides possible weapons, the tools used to steal these parts can also be extremely dangerous if used as a weapon,” police said. “We want to encourage anyone who witnesses any such event to get to a safe place and contact the police with as much information as possible so that we can intervene and confront the suspects.”

Last month, Milford resident Luke O’Brien needed 300 stitches after being slashed with a tool used to steal catalytic converters when he confronted thieves outside his home.

O’Brien, 60, said he investigated a noise around 2 a.m. on June 14, thinking someone might be trying to break into his truck and steal his tools.

When he got to the driveway, a person holding a grinder, a tool with a circular cutting blade, came up from behind him and ran the blade across the right side of his face from ear to chin, O’Brien said. The blade also raked his right shoulder and cut his knees and one foot, probably after the thief dropped it.

“I must have left a half-gallon of blood in the driveway,” O’Brien said.

Milford police say to report something suspicious, call 911 or 203-878-6551 for non-emergencies.

Staff writer Jesse Leavenworth contributed to this story.

william.lambert@hearstmediact.com