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Stamford Police: Man Takes Girlfriend's Car, Shoplifts Aerosol To Get High

Ryan James Runyon
Ryan James Runyon Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

STAMFORD, Conn. — A teacher's boyfriend took her vehicle so he could get high inhaling an aerosol can and then texted her to "drop the charge" while he was being booked in the police station Wednesday, Stamford Police said.

Charged with first-degree larceny, sixth-degree larceny, illegal operation of a motor vehicle under suspension and tampering with a witness was Ryan James Runyon, 28, of 7 Cottage St., Norwalk.

On Wednesday morning, the man accompanied the 45-year-old woman to her job as a Stamford teacher and "he had begged her to let him stay in the car while she was at work," Sgt. Simon Blanc said. His apparent intention was to remain there while she was at work, Blanc said.

She went out to check on her 2014 Nissan Rogue at 10 a.m. and discovered that it and her boyfriend were gone, Blanc said. She told police Runyon is addicted to 'huffing," which is inhaling a compressed gas duster sold in aerosol cans, an item she told police is sold at CVS, Blanc said. She believed he took the vehicle to attempt to shoplift the item so he could get high, he said.

She told police that after he obtains the aerosol can, he goes back to a vehicle, inhales it and passes out there.

The suspect was found in the 2014 Nissan Rogue parked at the Newfield Avenue CVS parking lot, Blanc said. The officer approached the vehicle and observed him "huffing" and pulled him out of the vehicle, Blanc said.

Officers recovered four cans of the aerosol duster, he said. Police went inside to see whether anyone had purchased the cans and were told by staff that no one had. The staff discovered that four cans were missing from the shelf, police said.

While he was being booked, Runyon sent a text to his girlfriend asking her to drop the charge before officers took the phone from him, Blanc said. Later, when he was given a phone to call his lawyer, he allegedly instructed the lawyer to contact the girlfriend to drop the charge, police said. The actions earned him a charge of tampering with a witness.

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