November 3, 2011

Farmington couple terrorized, robbed on Halloween

FARMINGTON -- Three masked men held a couple at gunpoint inside their home Halloween night, eventually forcing the husband to drive two of the robbers to an ATM while his wife remained at gunpoint back at the house, according to police.

Armed with handguns and knives, the men wearing black ski masks knocked on the Seamon Road home's door around 6:45 p.m. Monday.

The couple, ages 65 and 63, opened the door, mistaking the men for trick-or-treaters. The men, dressed in black clothes, then pulled out the weapons and forced their way inside, knocking the husband to the floor.

Once inside, two of the men ransacked the house while the third kept a gun pointed at the couple. After taking $1,600 in cash, some jewelry and prescription painkillers, the men demanded that the husband drive them to an ATM to withdraw money from his account.

One of the men kept a gun pointed at the wife, while the husband drove the other assailants to several banks in downtown Farmington. The husband withdrew $600 from the first bank's ATM and $100 from another, reaching the daily withdrawal limit before the men agreed to take him home.

The men fled the home after threatening to kill the couple if they went to police.

Three men were arrested in connection with the invasion and several other crimes the same day, according to an affidavit by Farmington police Detective Marc Bowering.

The couple contacted police Tuesday afternoon, shortly after media reports about arrests tied to a series of break-ins that happened on Halloween near the couple's home.

Kevin S. Crandall, 27, of Wilton, and Marcus A. Thompson, 26, of Farmington, were arrested in connection with the break-ins at three homes when the owners were away. Police said Tuesday they were looking for a third man involved in the crime spree.

The men allegedly stole three handguns and other items from the homes before they were arrested while trying to run from police.

After being contacted by the couple and more investigation, police arrested Michael E. Kidd Jr., 20, of Chesterville, on multiple charges in connection with the crime spree.

Police also added similar charges against Crandall and Thompson.

Police believe the crime spree spanned several hours, ending after police found a stolen car abandoned in a field near Knowlton Corner Farm about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

As a police dog searched around the car, Crandall and Thompson ran out of the nearby woods and were chased down and arrested, police said.

Police believe the men started their spree by breaking into a home in the Hilltop Estates neighborhood off Knowlton Corner Road, where the owner reported $180 in cash, credit cards and a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun missing.

A neighbor reported seeing three men driving off in a blue Ford Taurus sedan around the time of the theft, sometime before 4:30 p.m., he said.

At 6:20 p.m., sheriff's deputies responded to another break-in at a Dutch Gap Road home in Chesterville. The homeowner reported that some cash and a semi-automatic handgun were stolen.

Another break-in was reported an hour later at a Lucy Knowles Road home in Farmington. A .357-caliber handgun, digital cameras, a video game system and other electronics were stolen from that home, police said.

All three men face charges of robbery, kidnapping and criminal threatening, with each count citing specific laws that ask for more severe punishment because a firearm was used during the crime. They also each face multiple counts of burglary and theft. The kidnapping and robbery charges alone each carry a 30-year maximum prison sentence, along with other conditions.

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