Police have warrant for suspected rifle thief

Milford police are looking for a local man with a lengthy criminal record who is believed to have stolen a SWAT-type weapon and gear from a Bridgeport police officer’s car parked at his Milford home Jan. 4.

Police have a warrant for their suspect, Justin Parsell, 26, of unknown address, who is believed to be traveling with his girlfriend, Madison Krieder, 18, of Milford.

According to police, an M4 rifle, a level three ballistic vest, and a pair of night vision goggles were stolen from the unlocked vehicle Jan. 4 on Boothbay Street.

The weapon has already been recovered, according to Milford Police Spokesman Mike DeVito.

“The theft appears to have occurred sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.” Milford police said in a written statement. “Through an extensive and fast-acting investigation, all items were recovered.”

DeVito said the items were recovered within 12 hours. He said police “worked on it every minute” and searched for Parsell for three solid days.

The rifle and other equipment belonged to Bridgeport SWAT team member William Simpson, according to the Connecticut Post. The Post reported, and DeVito confirmed, that Simpson left them in the back seat of an unlocked car at his Boothbay Street home.

The Post reports that Simpson has been placed on leave pending an investigation and could face penalties for leaving his gun in an unlocked car.

Milford police are less worried about that than “finding the bad buy,” said DeVito.

In a press release issued Tuesday, Milford police say they have an active arrest warrant for Parsell, and that he may have cut his hair and may have been seen in a smaller sized pick-up truck with a bed covering.

Parsell was last known to be with Madison Krieder, who was recently reported as a missing person. DeVito said police are only looking for Krieder because she is believed to be with Parsell. As of now, she is not suspected of any crime.

Anyone with information on Parsell is asked to contact the Milford Police Department Patrol Division, 203-878-6551; Milford Police Department Detective Unit, 203-877-1465; Detective Sergeant Youd 203-783-4728 or visit milfordpd.org and click “Crime Tips.”