Two armed suspects were still at large Thursday after they allegedly perpetrated a string of carjackings that ended early Wednesday morning in Sherborn, where they crashed a stolen vehicle and fled the scene on foot, touching off a massive police search and the issuance of shelter-in-place orders at several local schools.
Police from several area departments quickly descended on the rural town early Wednesday morning after one of the suspects was spotted brandishing a handgun as they fled. The search was called off after about four hours when investigators determined the men were no longer in that area. The suspects remained at large Thursday morning, according to Dave Procopio, a State Police spokesman.
“The search was suspended yesterday after we determined they were no longer in that area,” Procopio said in an e-mail. “The investigation into the suspects is ongoing.”
The incident began Wednesday at around 5:53 a.m. in the area of North Main Street and Butler Road, when the suspects crashed a white Alfa Romeo Giulia that had been reported stolen out of Sudbury earlier in the week, Sherborn police said in a statement.
The two men, at least one of whom was seen carrying a handgun, attempted to steal another car before taking off on foot, dashing through nearby yards and coming close to confronting residents, Sherborn Police Chief Thomas Galvin told the Globe Wednesday.
Their presence in the area prompted officials to issue temporary shelter-in-place orders at schools in nearby Natick and cancel classes at Pine Hill Elementary School entirely. At least seven police departments, including State Police and Sherborn police, searched from roughly 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., but could not locate the suspects.
Sherborn police on Wednesday tied the two men to a series of car break-ins in the area Tuesday night. They are also “likely the same suspects who were pursued in a different vehicle by Hopkinton around 4 a.m. this morning. The suspects crashed in that vehicle and fled on foot,” Procopio said in a previous statement.
Security camera footage released by Sherborn police allegedly depicts the two men early Wednesday morning driving the same car they would later crash near North Main Street. In the footage, one of the men exits the car and attempts to break in to two vehicles.
Among the Sherborn residents jolted awake by the tumult Wednesday were John and Gorette DeSalvo, who said the crash occurred in front of their next-door neighbor’s house. Eversource workers were repairing a busted telephone pole at the scene as the couple recounted the unsettling events.
“I was up and I heard it,” Gorette DeSalvo, 44, said of the commotion. “I heard a truck halt, I heard some yelling, and I actually thought it was the truck that probably hit another car or something.”
She said it was still dark outside at the time.
“Thank God that happened after I let the dog in, because as I understand it, they ran up the driveway and into our backyard,” she said.
John DeSalvo, 43, said he was sleeping when his wife told him what happened.
“She’s like ‘look, there’s an accident, look, there’s an accident.’ I’m like, ‘oh, gosh, that looks terrible’ but I’m sleeping,” he said. “And then the next thing you know, she’s like ‘John, the police are in the yard with machine guns.’ ”
The DeSalvos said they’ve never seen anything like the crash and subsequent foot pursuit in their quiet neighborhood before. Initially, the couple said, they didn’t know why the police were searching around their property.
“They were looking under the car with the K-9 and we were like, ‘Oh, what are they looking for?’ ” John DeSalvo said. “At first we didn’t understand why there was a dog in our yard looking under cars.”
Material from prior Globe reports was used.