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Off-Duty Conn. Cop Tracks Down Suspect

An off-duty Vernon police officer who was with her family in their minivan Thursday pursued a break in a case that just couldn't wait.

Officer Kate Rooney spotted a Chevy Avalanche that had with a vanity plate that stood out, according to The Hartford Courant.

"That's the plate, Steve," she exclaimed to her husband, who also is an officer. "That's a stolen vehicle. They want this guy bad."

With her two young boys in the back seat, she made a U-turn and began to follow the suspicious vehicle.

"Mommy, what's an Avalanche?" the kids asked.

"Be quiet," she replied. "Mommy's got to do something."

Once she got a good look at the driver, she called headquarters and let them know.

The driver, Jeffrey Morgan, was also being sought by police.

The Avalanche drove into a CVS and Rooney parked far enough away to keep her kids safe, and at the same time keep an eye on the vehicle.

When Officer Thomas Van Tasel arrived alone to arrest Morgan, Rooney went into his cruiser, grabbed his rifle and provided cover before other officers arrived.

Other officers soon arrived and the suspect was taken into custody without incident and was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.

"Why don't you give me that rifle," Officer Tim Gunnoud told Rooney. "Why don't you go take care of your kids."

Back in the van, one of her sons asked, "Who was that?"

She responded: "He was a bad guy."