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Target Shoplifting Footage Ties Man to Area Armed Robberies

Video footage from a February incident at Target and the help of the stores loss prevention division helped lead officers to the arrest of a Plainville man in connection with convenience store robberies.

Surveillance footage tying a Plainville man to a shoplifting case in February proved to be the evidence that police needed in order to solve a three-month-old armed robbery.

Officers served a warrant on Michael G. Chapman, 33, at Bristol Superior Court last week in connection with both a shoplifting theft at the on Executive Boulevard in February and an armed robbery at the convenience store on Queen Street in December 2011.

Chapman, of 167 N. Washington St. in Plainville, was charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree assault, carrying a dangerous weapon, second-degree filing a false statement and two counts of sixth-degree larceny.

He remains in custody at the New Haven Correctional Center in lieu of $235,000 in bonds, according to the state Department of Correction.

“Surveillance footage of his Jeep Cherokee that was recorded and provided by officials with the Target asset protection department showed the connection to the December armed robbery,” Sgt. Lowell DePalma said Monday. “With their help, we were able to collect evidence that tied him to both cases, as well as a third armed robbery that took place in Wolcott.”

Detectives began looking into Chapman after a Feb. 8 call from the Target Asset Protection Department. Staff told police they had footage of a man who had allegedly been involved in a shoplifting case earlier in the week.

According to a police report, a man later identified as Chapman pulled a Jeep Cherokee to the emergency exit behind the store. He then proceeded to take a carriage to the electronics department and fill it with a Sonos “Play Five” sound system valued at $400.

Surveillance footage then showed him leave the store through an emergency exit, setting off the fire alarms, before leaving in a Jeep Cherokee. The footage, which included video still frames from the parking lot, also captured his license plate.

“He initially denied being involved and said someone had borrowed his car, but as detectives reviewed the footage, they realized the photos matched another incident that had occurred in December,” DePalma said.

On Dec. 20, 2011, police said surveillance footage allegedly showed Chapman entering the Cumberland Farms on Queen Street as the clerk was preparing to close. Police said he forced his way in and used two knives to threaten the clerk before taking the clerk’s cell phone, $46 from the cash register and $258 from a safe before leaving in the same Jeep Cherokee.

Surveillance footage was not made available on Monday.

The incident at Cumberland Farms mimicked a similar one that occurred on Feb. 22 in Wolcott, police said. He was arrested the following day after court officials at Waterbury Superior Court said surveillance footage tied him to the case.

He is facing charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, sixth-degree larceny and carrying a dangerous weapon after allegedly attacking the clerk and leaving him injured, police said.

Messages left with Wolcott police were not returned Monday afternoon.

Chapman is due back in Bristol Superior Court on April 19, according to court records.

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