A massive manhunt in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and Westbrook left police empty handed Wednesday night as they searched for an "extremely dangerous" burglary suspect and warned residents to lock their doors and stay inside.
Police said the suspect broke into a home on Mill Rock Road in Old Saybrook but was interrupted when the homeowner returned around 7:30 p.m. He fled in a car stolen from Waterford, then crashed on School House Road.
Police and K-9 units canvassed the area Wednesday night and called off the initial search after failing to locate the suspect, the Old Saybrook Fire Department posted on its Facebook page. Residents should keep their homes and vehicles locked overnight.
"This is a heavily wooded area so there's a lot of terrain to cover," said Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera. "A lot of people have backyard sheds and other accessory buildings, so it's taking some time to go yard by yard."
Those who were asked to stay away from their neighborhoods during the search have been allowed back into their homes, the fire department said Wednesday night.
Everyone within a mile and a half of the town park off School House Road should remain inside with the doors locked.
Residents received an email containing the following emergency alert Wednesday night:
"Police are in the area looking for a suspect in multiple burglaries. The suspect is a white male, 5'7, blonde crew cut, white tank top, jeans. Suspect is considered extremely dangerous. Please shelter in place and lock your doors. If you see anyone matching this description DO NOT approach and call 911 immediately."
Although the suspect is considered dangerous, authorities say they have no information indicating that he has a weapon. Police said he has a cut on his left elbow.
A resident of School House Road told NBC Connecticut that a man matching the suspect's description and covered in blood came to her door early Wednesday evening. He reportedly said he'd been in an accident and needed to call his dad, but ran off before she learned of the manhunt.
Police set up roadblocks and searched vacant buildings in the area. The fire department said residents would receive another reverse 911 call when the area was secured.
Westbrook residents living near the Old Saybrook town line were also being asked to shelter in place, according to the Westbrook Emergency Management Twitter account, and police stopped cars and checked trunks as part of the search.