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Suspected Burglar Leads Police on Chase Through Three Towns

Naugatuck detectives catch the suspect in Waterbury after the late morning incident.

A man suspected of burglarizing homes in several local communities led police on a high-speed chase through three towns late Monday morning.

The incident occurred when Middlebury Police were dispatched to an alarm at 192 Regan Road at 11:40 a.m., police said. Middlebury Officer Al Cronin encountered a red Mazda Pick-up truck stuck in the driveway and also noticed that the front door of the house was kicked in, police said. 

Cronin ordered 42-year-old Eric Nienstadt to get out of the vehicle. Nienstadt ignored the order, stepped on the gas to free his truck and drove off, nearly hitting Cronin, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck, police said.  

Nienstadt fled as police chased him into Naugatuck down Route 63; he then turned around back into Middlebury and got on I-84 headed in the wrong direction, police said. He got off at the next exit, near Naugatuck Valley Community College on Chase Parkway, Naugatuck police said.

Police broke off the pursuit and instead, attempted to figure where he would get off, officers said.

Nienstadt eventually got on Route 8 heading northbound in the southbound lane near Exit 35 and crashed into an oncoming vehicle, police said. He jumped out of the truck and ran toward the Brooklyn section of Waterbury. Officers chased Nienstadt and Naugatuck detectives Amanda Devan and Sgt. Randy Ireland caught him on John Street near Congress Avenue, said Lt. Bryan Cammarata, Naugatuck police spokesman. He said nobody was injured in the incidents. 

Nienstadt, whose last known addresses were at 7 New St. in Danbury and on 47 Irion St. in Waterbury, faces multiple charges including: criminal attempt at first-degree assault; third-degree burglary; third-degree larceny; three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment; second-degree criminal mischief; four counts of third-degree criminal mischief; and three counts of disobeying the direction of an officer.

He was held on a $500,000 bond and will be arraigned tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Waterbury Superior Court.

Police in several local towns, including Naugatuck, are investigating to see if he is connected to burglaries in the area. 

In addition to Middlebury charges, Nienstadt faces four violation of probation warrants will also be served at Danbury Superior Court.

Ed Smith January 09, 2013 at 12:53 PM
This guy is willing to kill people by running them over or hitting them head-on, just so he can attempt escape from arrest for damaging peoples' homes to steal their property! This is what prisons are for, now he will live on the taxpayer dollar while cultivating his criminal attitudes with his peers in prison, until he gets released back into society, likely to do it all again in a few years or less. Had he any brains and really wanted to steal from hard-working people and live on taxpayer money with success and comfort, he would instead have gone into Wall Street where he could have created fraudulent mortgage-backed securities to make millions on commissions betting other peoples' money and then when his bubble popped his league of too-big-to-fail banks could have given him $millions more in bonuses as they took $trillions in bailout money from the Federal Reserve Bank. But no, instead he is a petty criminal that actually gets covered in the news.

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