Following an arrest of an alleged robber at a River Road convenience store on Christmas Eve, Shelton police were able to connect it to another robbery at a downtown liquor store.
On Dec. 16, 2014, at approximately 8:45 p.m., police responded to Cleto’s Liquor Store at 402 Howe Ave. for a reported armed robbery.
Reports said two males entered the store, with one male displaying a gun and the other male displaying a knife. The males grabbed money and bottles of liquor and then left the store, according to police.
On Dec. 24, 2014, police arrested 33-year-old Valentine Rodriguez of Bridgeport for an alleged armed robbery of the Cumberland Farm store on River Road (Route 110). Detectives began investigating to see if these incidents were related in any manner.
On Feb. 11, Samantha Cruz-Palarino, 25, of Oxford, turned herself in on an active arrest warrant involving the Cleto’s Liquor Store robbery. Cruz-Palarino was charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny. Bond was $150,000.
Cruz-Palarino was separately arrested on Feb. 11 for her alleged involvement in the Cumberland Farms robbery.
On Feb. 20, Shelton detectives arrested Jonathan Rodriguez, 30, of Bridgeport on an arrest warrant for the Cleto’s Liquor Store robbery.
Jonathan Rodriguez was charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny. He was given a $75.000 bond.
More arrests are expected in the Cleto’s case, according to a Shelton Police Department press release.