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Gun-Toting Man Robs Norwalk Shoe Store

The clerk at a Norwalk store was allegedly held up at gunpoint Monday afternoon, and the robber made off with less than $100.

The 28-year-old clerk at the Payless shoe store on Connecticut Avenue said she was working at the counter when a man walked in at about 3:20 p.m., pulled out a handgun and told her to open the register. After handing over the cash, she was told to go to the back of the store. The door chime had gone off when the man came in, and it went off again as she walked down an aisle, so she knew he had left. She immediately turned around, locked the door and called Norwalk police.

The clerk, a Norwalk resident, could not describe the gun. She said the robber was a husky white man in his 50s, with hair that was a mix of gray and blonde. He was wearing large framed prescription glasses and was possibly walking with a noticeable limp.

Police are hoping that surveillance cameras at the nearby Kohl's may provide further clues.

Also on the police blotter:

• Jose Encarnacion, 33, of 45 High St., did not flee when stopped for a minor motor vehicle infraction Saturday morning. But Norwalk police say it was a different story in October 2008, when Encarnacion led them on a high-speed chase onto U.S. 7.

For his alleged Saturday morning offenses, Encarnacion was arrested and charged with criminal impersonation, failure to display a plate or sticker, operating without carrying a license and misuse of a plate. He was also arrested and charged with engaging in pursuit, operating with a suspended license, failure to obey a traffic control signal and reckless driving in the 2008 case. Bond was set at $2,500.

Sgt. Lisa Cotto said Encarnacion was stopped at France Street and North Avenue at 9:11 a.m. Saturday because he allegedly had no front plate on his VW Passat. Police checked the plate and found it was registered to an Acura. Encarnacion did not have a driver's license in his possession and gave a false name, they said.

On the night of Oct. 15, 2008, Encarnacion was stopped for allegedly running a red light. He did not have a license on him, and when police checked, they found that his license had been suspended in August 2008. The officer requested Encarnacion's keys. Instead, he sped away with his headlights off.

Police caught up to him on Van Buren Street, but he ran a red light to get onto U.S. 7 southbound. He appeared headed for I-95 north, but at the last minute he veered into the middle lane. He tried to take the South Norwalk exit, but a police cruiser on the ramp blocked it. Dust and debris went flying, Cotto said.

Encarnacion exited onto West Avenue, where he was stopped and taken to headquarters. Police then applied for a warrant for his arrest.

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