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PD: Bank Robbers Caught After Foiled Attempt to Divert Police

Police said an off-duty officer, and witnesses, assisted in identifying the suspects that robbed a People's United Bank branch inside Stop & Shop on Saturday.

It only took police investigators about an hour to locate the two suspects that they believe robbed a inside Stop & Shop on Saturday.

And the story, according to Naugatuck police, involved the suspects' bungled diversion plot, an attempt to get rid of the evidence, a quick-thinking off-duty police officer who was in the right place at the right time and witnesses who where savvy enough to report a suspicious car, and a suspicious couple, before the bank robbery even happened.

Joshua Habib, 25, and Brianna McCarthy, 22, were both taken into custody from their home at 192 Hunter Drive in Litchfield as the alleged robbers in the case.

Police said McCarthy was the woman who donned a red wig, walked up to the People’s United Bank branch around 2:45 p.m. and . Meanwhile, police said Habib was the sunglasses-wearing getaway driver who sat outside the supermarket in a silver Saturn prior to the robbery.

It all began when police got a 911 call just prior to the bank robbery of an attempted abduction of a woman by gunpoint in the area of Ward Street. A male caller, which police later identified as Habib, said he saw a man holding a gun and was trying to “grab a female,” said Lt. Robert Harrison, Naugatuck police spokesman.

Police said there never was any female being abducted and that call, which turned out to be false, was just a Habib's attempt to divert police away from the scene of the bank robbery.

The caller then hung up before police could get any more information. As patrol officers were investigating this call police got an additional report of a suspicious car reported outside Stop & Shop in Naugatuck, Harrison said.

Witnesses told police they saw a silver-colored Saturn parked near Stop & Shop with the occupant “acting suspiciously,” police said. They gave a description of the two occupants and one witness wrote down the number of the car's California license plate. 

Soon afterwards, the report of the bank robbery was called in.

Then, these same witnesses saw the female — identified as McCarthy —  fleeing the supermarket wearing the red wig after allegedly robbing the bank inside. She got into the Saturn and the couple travelled toward Field Street, Harrison said.

Police put this information out on their internal radio so all officer units could hear. Meanwhile, Naugatuck Officer Peter Bosco, who had just gotten off duty and was driving in his personal car with his police radio, was driving in the area of Allerton Road when he got the report about the suspects.

At that point, the Saturn nearly collided with Bosco head-on as it the suspects fled the scene, Harrison said.

Seeing that the two occupants matched the description of the suspect, Bosco turned his car around and got behind the vehicle. But this time, the vehicle bore Connecticut registration plates, which is information he broadcasted back to all police units on the hunt, Harrison said.

"Officer Bosco really needs recognition for his efforts off duty," Harrison said. “He just did a terrific job.”

The ordeal ended back at Habib’s and McCarthy’s residence on Hunter Drive in Litchfield. The Connecticut State Police where there to arrest them as they pulled in to their home, Harrison said.

Habib was charged with a conspiracy to commit third-degree robbery, a conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny, and reporting an incident in the first-degree. McCarthy was charged with third-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, a conspiracy to commit third-degree robbery and a conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny.

Harrison said the suspects later confessed to the crime. They led detectives to the location of the red wig and California plates, which had been discarded into a dumpster on Field Street, and the male suspect was determined to have also called in the earlier Ward Street incident as a diversionary call.

Both were held on $150,000 bonds and are due to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Feb. 14.

Apart from praising Bosco for his quick thinking and efforts, Harrison also said the witnesses that had called in the suspicious vehicle were a "huge help" in the case.

Jim February 12, 2012 at 07:06 PM
There is no "Hunter Road" in Litchfield according to MapQuest, however a Google search of 192 Hunter Drive in Litchfield shows an upscale condo valued at almost a half million dollars. http://www.homes.com/Home-Prices/ID-500013911156/192-HUNTERS-DR/
Ronald DeRosa (Editor) February 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Hey Jim, Thanks for pointing that out. I corrected the error. I actually had it as "Hunter Road" in the first reference, and "Hunter Drive" in the second reference toward the bottom of the article. Call it a error in editing. Thanks for your readership and comments! - RD, editor
Brian February 12, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Do people really expect to get away with this kinda thing? These are not the days of John Dillinger. U always get caught. Technology has taken away any chance of success.
CTNeighbor February 12, 2012 at 08:58 PM
While I don't condone such behavior ... They are not "dirtbags" I DO know that Josh has had a rough life. This is where bad parenting, bad choices, years of drug abuse and clearly complete lack of judgement get you.
Brian February 12, 2012 at 11:04 PM
I can think of worse ways to go about gettin $$ than robbing an insured bank with no gun.
Mike February 13, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Why Naugatuck? Why not? It's no secret this town is rapidly approaching waterbury/new haven/bridgeport status because of the influx of the people from those areas. Besides, the young man was in and out of the naugatuck public school system so i'm sure he's familiar with the area.
Jjudy February 13, 2012 at 04:05 AM
This is the lying heroin addict girl who can't keep her story straight about the Litchfield teacher who supposedly came onto her. Maybe this info will help him restore his name.
Nicole February 13, 2012 at 04:24 AM
I agree wit you. Brianna is not a dirtbag either.
Nicole February 13, 2012 at 04:26 AM
The reason being is because its HER familys place, not her's or his. I know her and she got caught up with the wrong people, if you know what I mean. Its just so sad. I just hope she gets the help she really needs.
Will Wilkin February 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM
If these kids really want to get away with robbery, they should go to business school and study finance and manage hedge funds and become insider traders skimming $ millions off the productive work of society. Or they should become CEO's of large corporations paying politicians to enact "free trade" treaties so they can export our industries, jobs and future for the quick $ billions for the 1%. Then they could enjoy life instead of being punished for it.
Craig Zac February 13, 2012 at 04:40 PM
it always amazes me that people are stupid enough to try and Rob a bank. you never get much and then you almost always get caught. You'd be better off robbing the local Burgerking...lol ( but dont do that either, it isnt nice and Karma with pay you back by making you a toilet seat in a Grand Central Station mens room in your next life!)
barb February 13, 2012 at 04:42 PM
ITS CALL GET A JOBBBBBBB,,CLEAN MONEY
D.Hawkins February 13, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I agree with Mike Rotch – Naugatuck used to be a nice little town with hard working people that cared what happened and got involved. I remember leaving doors open without having to worry about someone coming in a doing harm.(can't do that anymore with all the thugs moving here) Now with the influx of people from other cities, Naugatuck is being plague with big city problems. • High drug use • Home break-ins • Violence • And more Slum property owners from other town’s buys properties in our town only to make money and do not care what types of people they rent to. This influx of poorly educated, violent and drug addicts are infutrating our streets and schools forcing hard working people to flee to other towns. It’s time for Naugatuck to wake-up – hopefully is not too late.
Mike February 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Amen to that, however, once they start flooding in like they have, it's already too late. Oh and to the folks making a point of saying how these two are such good people, get real. Whatever led them to where they are now, they still made the choice to try and ROB A BANK. The bleeding hearts here would have these two back on the streets in no time with a slap on the wrist and a glass of warm milk.
xoxo February 13, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I know Brianna and her family very well. She came from a great family and a mother who is one of the best people that I have ever met. Her mother is one of the most unselfish and caring people in this world and did everything for her children. This is not bad parenting. This is just an unfortunate case of a individual who has had many hardships in her life.
J February 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM
It is ridiculous to say that this crime is the result of bad parenting. These individuals chose to make bad decisions. This was their own choice and their own fault, no one else's. All of you people shouldn't be making judgments about Brianna's entire family unless you know them well. You can judge and talk about the crime she committed or her, but it is likely that (if you don't already) you will know someone who makes a wrong turn in their life and it might hurt you or your family to see comments like this. The families of these individuals are obviously not proud of what they both have done, and they didn't make them commit the crime, so there is really no reason to bring their families into it. The article is about them and the crime they committed because it is important to inform the public. This commentary section is not meant to be a gossip forum about the personal details of the family of both individuals.
David V. DeRosa February 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I am an attorney. Two points: First, motive for a crime is legally irrelevant. Although the motive may have an influence on how a judge or jury sees a defendant or a crime, the reason someone does something or does not do something is not the same as their state of mind when they commit a crime. So when these people committ a robbery ... the reason for it may have an affect on sentencing in terms of the sanction but has no significance as to guilt or innocence. Second: Robbery is a dumb crime. By this I mean that Robbers I treated seriously by the Court and if a weapon is used, usually involve many years in jail for very little money. Usually these robberies are committed by three groups: 1. People addicted to drugs who cannot hold stable employment. 2. People who have long felony records, and have no other way to make more than minimum wage. 3. Highly trained professional Bank Robbers that case out joints, break in, and steal significant amounts of money. The latter category is of interest to the FBI and the Federal Court system. I do not know these defendants ... and generally do not comment on this stuff ... but since it appears that they robbed the bank I used and threaten people I know ... I think people should realize that robbery has a huge impact on the psychology of the victims. It is treated seriously by the Court system because it is a crime of violence ... even if no one is hurt.
Brett Johnson February 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I know josh, he's such a great kid with one of the biggest hearts ever. He would do anything for anyone but he got caught up with heroin at an early age and couldn't break away from his habit. For those of you who assume he's just some scumbag, you've obviously never experienced being dope sick. Being dope sick alone will make you do anything to get your next fix or even kill yourself because it is too agonizing to deal with.
Brittany February 14, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I have known josh for years. He hasn't changed he's just gotten worse and there's no excuse for it. I dont care if your an addict or not that doesn't make it ok to steal from your friends family and now banks. He's a scum bag no matter what any of u say. Everyone goes through rough times in their life it doesn't make it ok to keep making the same mistakes over and over. Josh is a joke and karma just bit him in the ass. Now he'll be pheining from a cell and I couldn't be happier about it.
Llyod Christmas February 15, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I know Brett Johnson, and he's a great kid too. He's got bubble eyes, though.
Phoebe Marks February 15, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I know Josh personally and although he's had a troubled past, he was also given many chances to have a great future. Unfortunately, he chose to do drugs and now heroin rules his life. I truly hope he can overcome his addiction and do something productive with his life.
Phoebe Marks February 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM
J, I agree with you 100%. People should not jump to conclusions and blame the family or say that this was the result of bad parenting. People do what people do regardless of their upbringing as we've seen time and time again!
amanda skinner February 16, 2012 at 02:07 AM
A very close friend of mine dated brianna, she was a very good person but she just got caught up with the wrong people that got her into drugs, it has not one thing to do with bad parenting, cuz she came from a very good family, and a good background of friends that cared about her. And one man that loved her more than anything and wouldve gave her everything, but she chose drugs and scum because she didn't know any better.
amanda skinner February 16, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Ms. McCarthy, we all feel for you, and you are a great and wonderful mother, and grand mother.
amanda skinner February 16, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Love you Brianna, you really should have hung around, and stayed after so long. And you wouldve most definately stayed out of trouble. I still love you, hope everything turns out fine. Love, B.M.
David V. DeRosa February 24, 2012 at 06:11 AM
The only good thing about the thread is that people that know these people recognize that they are human beings and not criminals. That said: they may not be bad people but they did a bad thing, and they will be punished for it. If these two do not get jail time ... which may be possible because there was no gun involved, that will be a huge break. They both, however, will not escape felony convictions most likely. That will hinder each one of them of moving forward. People always say it is drugs that made them do this, but in my 12 year of representing people in criminal court and handling criminal appeals after trials and habeas corpus proceedings, these violent crimes usual involve a person who is high on drugs or a crime to support a habit. So ... being on drugs ... will probably play no role in the conviction but may mitigate punishment.
Harry Ballsonya March 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Plenty of people do heroin and never rob anyone...blaming the heroin is a cop-out.
Jennifer LaPierre May 23, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I know them, they're drug addicts, why would anyone else rob a bank unless you're just plain stupid. Drugs can drive you to do things you would NEVER normally do, because when I knew them they were sober and both good people. You'll never know how awfully powerful addiction can be unless you experience it. Sucks to see this happen.
Litch June 29, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I know a little background info. She was a real nice kid in high school. The true story i think was he was dealing coke and tricked her into thinking it was just speed and somehow that was thought of as ok! Then she got hooked, I think he is a douche for doing that purposely to someone. Im not sure if she ever knew about that though. real sad stuff, but truth be told the younger ct generation is messed up. so many problems with hard drugs and all they do is catch pot heads and drunk teens.
Phoebe Marks June 30, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Litch, unless you were there and were involved in the conversation how would you know that Josh tricked Brianna? AND if you knew that he was really giving her heroin and not coke, then why didn't you tell her the truth? Truth be told, they are both good people who made some very bad decisions, period! AND another truth is that CT is not the only state with the younger generation being messed up. Get your facts straight before you go posting them as "truths"!

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