Suspect in a South Carolina homicide allegedly stole guns in Monroe

Branden Huertas, 42, a suspect in a South Carolina homicide, was in possession of two firearms reported stolen in a Monroe burglary when he was arrested by police at a Danbury hotel on July 10, according to police.

On Jan. 8, Monroe police detectives served a warrant to Huertas for two counts of stealing a firearm, while he was being held at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institute in Suffield on separate charges and a retainer for extradition to South Carolina.

Bond for the Monroe charges was set at $75,000 for a Jan. 19 court date.

On December 1, 2022, Monroe police officers responded to the report of a burglary on William Henry Drive. Forced entry was made into the house and 12 guns, two of which were air guns, were stolen, according to the report.

Over the course of the ensuing investigation two firearms were recovered, one in Stamford and the other on Interstate-95 in Westport. Huertas was identified as a suspect.

During the arrest at the hotel in Danbury, police recovered two more of the stolen guns, which Monroe police were able to charge Huertas on.

The Monroe burglary case is still under investigation by the Monroe Police Detective Division.

Arrests in Riding Ridge Road car theft

A Waterbury man and a juvenile were charged for the theft of a Porsche from a residence on Riding Ridge Road in Monroe, which was reported stolen on June 15.

The stolen vehicle was later recovered in Queens, N.Y., and, based on the processing of the vehicle by detectives and other evidence, Garrett Gibbs, 23, of Meriden Road, and the juvenile were identified as suspects, police said.

A warrant was served to Gibbs at court on Jan. 11, where he was being held on unrelated charges. Monroe police charged Gibbs with larceny of a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit larceny of a motor vehicle and criminal attempt at illegal use of a payment card. He was held on $50,000 bond.

Gibbs also faces charges from Westport police, including home invasion, first-degree burglary, robbery by carjacking, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and first-degree robbery.

New Haven man charged in string of thefts

A New Haven man faces charges in connection with several thefts in Monroe. On Jan. 11, officers served a warrant at court, where he was being held on charges from other law enforcement agencies.

Jamar Sims, 20, was charged with larceny in the fourth degree and two counts of criminal attempt at larceny in the fifth degree. He was held on $1,000 bond and arraigned the same day.

Monroe police linked Sims to the theft of laundry detergent, including Tide Pods, as well as other merchandise totaling $1,106.

The thefts were reported at Stop & Shop, 470 Monroe Turnpike, on December 22, 2022, February 27, 2023 and March 20, 2023; and another was reported at the CVS Pharmacy on Route 111.

Crash snaps utility pole

A 17-year-old Bridgeport driver escaped injury after hitting a utility pole with a red 2015 Hyundai Sonata he was driving, while heading south on Moose Hill Road Tuesday morning.

Police said he applied the brakes, but lost control of his vehicle on the snow covered road in the 200-block of Moose Hill and went off the right side of the road, where the impact of the crash snapped the utility pole in half. The accident occurred around 9:33 a.m.

The driver did not complain about any injuries, according to police, who said Eversource was called out to replace the damaged pole and the Sonata was towed.

The driver was issued an infraction for driving too fast for conditions.

Theft from a vehicle

A 19-year-old Naugatuck man told officers someone entered his unlocked 2011 Toyota Highlander and stole his wallet sometime overnight, when it was parked outside a residence on Elm Street on Monday, according to a complaint made Tuesday.

The wallet contained the victim’s driver’s license, credit card and debit card. Police said a $33.70 purchase was later made at a gas station in Orange using the stolen debit card.

The victim has since canceled his cards and the Monroe Police Detective Division is following up on the case.

In a separate incident reported Monday, a Quarry Ridge Road man told police he saw a male wearing a light colored hoodie checking the door handles of his locked vehicle sometime overnight.

There was no damage to the vehicle and nothing was stolen, police said, adding the resident has video surveillance footage to share with officers.

Driver cited in accident on Stanley Road

A 49-year-old West Haven woman was issued an infraction for following too closely after hitting a 2020 Hyundai Tucson from behind with her 2014 Kia Forte, after the Hyundai backed out of a driveway on Stanley Road on Jan. 12, police said.

The accident occurred in the 290-block of Stanley Road around 6:56 p.m. when the woman was heading north, according to the report.

A police investigation determined the driver of the Hyundai, an 80-year-old Monroe man, had established his vehicle in the roadway before the driver of the Kia failed to slow down and hit him.

Police said the West Haven woman sustained a minor head injury and her passenger, a 52-year-old man, had a minor knee injury. Both were taken to Bridgeport Hospital.

Both vehicles were towed due to disabling damage, according to the report.


An article about a rollover crash on East Village Road posted on Saturday, Jan. 13, incorrectly identified the driver as a Trumbull woman. She lives in Shelton. The Sun apologizes for the error.

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