NEWTOWN, Conn. — Newtown police were searching for two men who robbed a Route 25 liquor store at gunpoint, set it on fire and painted swastikas on the back door late Saturday, forcing the owner to jump out a window to escape, police said.
Officers responded at 8:30 p.m. to the Red Roster Liquor store at 113 S. Main St. on a report of a robbery, Newtown police Sgt. Aaron Bahamonde said in a statement.
When officers arrived, the rear of the building was on fire, police said. Officers entered and assisted the fire department in extinguishing the blaze with fire extinguishers, police said.
A store's owner said two males had entered and one man requested help in finding an item, police said. The second one, brandishing a firearm, walked the owner to the counter and took a large amount of cash from several night receipts, police said.
The suspects fled toward the rear of the store, starting a fire before going out a back door, police said. The owner smashed the front window to flee the burning building, police said.
The two suspects were described as tall white males dressed in dark clothing, police said.
Upon searching the building and surroundings area for suspects, with the assistance of a State police K9, officers saw a racial slur and two swastikas painted on the rear door of the store, police said. The owner said the markings were not there before the robbery and blamed the suspects, police said.
The Newtown Police Department's Patrol Division and Detective Division are investigating the incident with assistance from the State Police Department's Major Crime Unit and the Fire Marshal's Unit.
It was the second incident in that area of Newtown in as many days, police said. Late Friday, two men armed with handguns robbed the Citgo at 151 S. Main St./Route 25 at about 10:30 p.m., police said.
Two male suspects, each armed with a gun, stole cash from the register, police said. No injuries were reported, police said.
Anyone with information on the robbery, vandalism and fire at the liquor store or on the armed robbery at the gas station is asked to call the Newtown Police Department at 203-426-5841.