STAMFORD — Residents in the Ridges neighborhood were twice woken up early Thursday morning to the sounds of screeching tires and police sirens.
Stamford police said car thieves stole two cars about two hours apart on Three Lakes Drive and Woodridge Drive South and led officers on high-speed chases up the Merritt Parkway. Police, however, would not confirm if the incidents were related.
Sgt. Robert Shawinsky said the first incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday when a Three Lakes Drive resident reported a suspicious car on the street.
The responding police officer spotted a man dressed in red running toward an Audi parked in a driveway and then the car suddenly pulled away. Shawinsky said the man dressed in red was last seen running into the backyard of the residence.
The driver of the Audi refused to pull over and led the officer on a pursuit on High Ridge Road and then northbound on the Merritt. Police pursued the vehicle onto Route 7 in Norwalk and then onto Interstate 95 before terminating the chase near exit 15. The driver remained at-large on Thursday.
More than two hours later, another car was reported stolen in the same neighborhood on Woodridge Drive South.
As the owner of the Ford Fusion was filing a report with police, the car was spotted driving down the street.
Shawinsky said an identical scenario unfolded with the driver speeding up High Ridge Road and then onto the Merritt toward Norwalk.
State police used spike strips near the New Canaan rest area that punctured two of the Ford’s tires, according to Sgt. Robert Derry, of Troop G in Bridgeport.
The juvenile driver continued on the Merritt before getting off at exit 38 in Norwalk. He then turned onto Purdy Road — a dead-end street — and drove into the backyard of a residence.
Derry said state police and officers from Stamford and Norwalk surrounded the vehicle and the 17-year-old driver surrendered.
Stamford Youth Bureau Sgt. Joseph Kennedy said the Bridgeport youth, whose name was not released because of his age, was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license, engaging police in pursuit, first-degree larceny, conspiracy at committing first-degree larceny and having a weapon in a motor vehicle.
Kennedy declined to comment on the case because it is still under investigation.