Two Suspects Arrested Following Armed Robbery at East Haven Smoke Shop
Press release from East Haven Police Department
Two suspects have been taken into custody by the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) following a foot pursuit related to an armed robbery that occurred at Planet ZAZA Smoke Shop at 744 Foxon Road in East Haven.
On Sept. 26, at approximately 4:05 p.m., the East Haven Public Safety Dispatch Center received a 911 call from an employee at Planet ZAZA Smoke Shop reporting that two individuals had just robbed the business and fled westbound on Foxon Road toward New Haven.
The investigation revealed that two individuals, later identified as Anthony Longo, 20, of Foxon Road, North Branford, and his brother Ronnie Longo, 21, entered Planet ZAZA Smoke Shop and attempted to make a purchase with a credit card that was declined. The pair can be seen on video surveillance leaving the store still in possession of the items they attempted to purchase without paying, prompting several store employees to follow them. A physical altercation ensued in the parking lot, but the pair fled the scene after Ronnie Longo pulled out a knife and swung it at one of the employees.
After a few brief moments, a second incident occurred.
Ronnie and Anthony Longo returned to the business, this time with Ronnie in possession of a large machete. Ronnie Longo can be seen chasing an employee who was in possession of store merchandise through the parking lot. The employee dropped the bag as he ran away from Longo, who picked up the bag and fled westbound on Foxon Road. There were no reported serious injuries during this incident.
Officers arrived in the area and quickly set up a perimeter in search of the two suspects. Officers Kevin McGuire, Rob Celentano, and Micah Belcher spotted the two suspects in the area of 940 Foxon Road and gave chase. Anthony Longo was taken into custody immediately, while Ronnie Longo led officers in a foot pursuit through several backyards. Ronnie was taken into custody without further incident a short time later by Officer Rob Celentano, who located him hiding in a wooded area in the area of 21 Michael Street.
The machete used in the robbery was located by Officer Stephen Marsico’s K9 partner Mack a short distance from where Ronnie Longo was apprehended.
Both suspects were transported to the East Haven Police Department (EHPD), where they were processed.
Ronnie Longo was charged with two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, breach of peace in the second degree, interfering/resisting arrest, larceny in the sixth degree, conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree, threatening in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, and criminal attempt of assault in the first degree. He was held on a $50,000 bond and remained in police custody until he was transported to court on the morning of Sept. 27.
Anthony Longo was charged with two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, breach of peace in the second degree, interfering/resisting arrest, larceny in the sixth degree, conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree, and assault in the third degree. He was held on a $5,000 bond and remained in police custody until he was transported to court on the morning of Sept. 27.
The EHPD additionally noted that Planet ZAZA Smoke Shop has recently come under fire due to reports of illegal and unlicensed sales of marijuana products. The EHPD has received several complaints regarding activity taking place at the establishment and has taken enforcement action on several occasions.
On May 15, members of the EHPD and representatives from the Department of Consumer Protection conducted a surprise inspection of Planet ZAZA. This investigation revealed that the business was illegally selling THC products without proper licensing as a marijuana dispensary. This also resulted in the arrest of two employees who were on scene during the inspection.
A follow-up inspection was conducted on Sept. 5, revealing the same THC products being offered for sale. In both instances, officers seized a large amount of THC-infused products, including gummies, vapes, edibles, and flower marijuana individually packaged for sale.
The EHPD stated that it will continue to partner with local and state agencies to address this ongoing issue.