NATIONAL NEWS

Ex-Connecticut police officer suspected of burglaries in 3 states

Oct 14, 2023, 10:41 AM | Updated: 11:36 am

GLASTONBURY, Conn. (AP) — A former Connecticut police officer is suspected of being a serial burglar and committing 30 or more thefts in three states, including the community he had patrolled until recently.

A newly unsealed warrant says former Glastonbury Police Officer Patrick Hemingway is believed to have targeted safes and cash registers at restaurants and businesses in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The warrant, cited in multiple news reports and released Thursday, says surveillance videos show a suspect possibly resembling the former officer.

Hemingway, 37, was charged last month with computer crimes and making a false statement. A judge at his arraignment said more charges were expected.

In one surveillance video, a tall male wearing a mask, gloves and a hooded sweatshirt is seen holding a flashlight “in a tactical manner.” The suspect is also holding “a coiled, corded object to his left ear” that resembles the portable police radios used by the Glastonbury Police Department, the warrant said.

“Lock-picking tools” were used in some of the burglaries, according to the warrant. Hemingway left behind a bag that included a lock-picking tool kit when he resigned Sept. 1 from the Glastonbury Police Department, the warrant said. Cell phone data and images of a vehicle resembling one owned by Hemingway’s wife and spotted at multiple break-ins are also cited in the warrant.

As the burglary part of the investigation continues, Hemmingway is being held on a $1 million bond. His lawyer argued in court that the bond was too high.

“I’ve seen murder cases where the bond is that high,” James E. Sulick said.

“I want to withhold any comment until I’ve had a chance to review things with my client,” Sulick said Saturday. “And I just haven’t been able to do that yet.”

Hemingway was initially arrested as a fugitive from justice on Sept. 22 at a New Jersey airport where Sulick said he was studying to become a commercial pilot. He was extradited to Connecticut. The warrant for the computer crime, signed when Hemingway was in New Jersey, stems from allegations he misused a police database 80 times. According to the warrant, Sulick made 28 queries about his own vehicle from Feb. 26, 2019, as well as 19 queries about his wife’s vehicle from April 11, 2022 to Aug. 23, plus other queries.

“A possible explanation for Patrick running such information so frequently would have been to determine if he was being investigated by police,” the warrant said.

Last month, the Glastonbury Police Department issued a news release saying they had been alerted to the possibility that a former officer was a person of interest in a recent burglary and had contacted the Connecticut State Police Major Crimes unit because the investigation involved multiple jurisdictions. The officer was not named and the department said it would not comment further.

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Ex-Connecticut police officer suspected of burglaries in 3 states