Jeffery Morgan of Middletown admitted to police that he is an “old school criminal” with old-fashioned rules. The oldest: don’t get caught.
His alleged thefts from two local CVS stores in July were petty by legal standards. On July 25, police said a man at the West Hartford Center CVS filled a bag with 15 six-packs of Dove soap worth $142.35 and walked out the Brace Road exit without paying. He left in a blue 1991 Cadillac Brougham.
The Cadillac was immediately familiar, police said. An earlier incident involved the same man, a different CVS, four large cans of baby food worth $95.96, and a decision to engage police in a menacing car chase.
Police said Morgan fled empty-handed July 8 from a CVS at 150 S. Main St. after he was confronted by a security guard. He was spotted about 7:45 p.m. on Ridgebrook Road, inciting a pursuit on streets that included Scarsdale, Sedgwick, Woodpond, Mildred, Berkshire, New Britain, South Main, Webster Hill, and Mayflower.
A police supervisor called off the chase after Morgan allegedly drove his Cadillac at police at least four times.
In a near-hit on Scarsdale Road, “I believed the vehicle was going to ram me head-on,” West Hartford police Officer Andrew Teeter said in a police report.
Morgan spun out on an I-84 entrance ramp at South Main Street and blew out a tire, police said. Still, he reversed direction, allegedly diving at police one last time in his Cadillac.
Teeter’s cruiser was sideswiped and received minor damage. Officer Paul Gionfriddo said he swerved to get out of the way. Officer John Begin said, “The suspect vehicle drove directly at my cruiser and turned to the side at the last moment to avoid hitting me.”
Police, who tried to set up stop-sticks, said Morgan was last seen in the area of South Street and New Britain Avenue.
Morgan has arrests and convictions throughout the region, dating to 2002, police said. His sentences in Hartford, Enfield, Manchester and New Britain Superior Courts added up to more than five years.
West Hartford police practically had to get in line for Morgan last week at Hartford Superior Court.
Morgan was taken into custody Aug. 18 in Vernon, where he was wanted for a gas station burglary Aug. 13. He was spotted in a Chevrolet Avalanche he allegedly stole in Cheshire on Aug. 11, police said.
Cheshire police found the Cadillac on fire. Morgan reportedly told a detective he ditched the car because it was running hot.
Morgan, also a suspect in a CVS theft in East Hartford, declined to give Vernon police a statement. He reportedly said that’s “against the rules” and reminded a detective that he was an “old school criminal.” He was held on total bail set at $120,000
In addition to two counts of sixth-degree larceny, West Hartford police charged Morgan with first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, disobeying an officer, interfering with an officer and evading responsibility.
Morgan was scheduled to return to court Sept. 9 and again Sept. 23.