Police say they would have gladly helped Timothy Brown open his car after he accidentally locked his keys inside it last week. But instead of asking politely for help, the New Haven man fabricated a story about his car being on fire in an attempt to have firefighters reunite him with his keys, police said.

Brown, 35, now finds himself locked in a jail cell rather than driving home following his arraignment Monday in Milford Superior Court on charges of falsely reporting an incident and interfering with police. Judge John Ronan ordered Brown held in lieu of $25,000 bond.

Sgt. Paul Raucci, a police department spokesman, said firefighters rushed to Brown's car Thursday night believing a fire was in progress.

"There was no fire, but they found that he locked his keys in his car," Raucci said.

Police were then contacted about the discrepancy between Brown's initial call and the real situation, Raucci said.

Brown denied that he reported a car fire to a fire dispatcher. However, officers who reviewed a tape of the conversation between Brown and the dispatcher discovered that he did, in fact, claim a car fire, Raucci said.

Police also learned during their investigation that Brown, under an alias, is apparently wanted by East Hartford police on a robbery charge, Raucci said.

During Monday's arraignment, prosecutors cited the outstanding warrant in East Hartford as the reason why Brown should be held on a substantial bond.

Raucci said the irony of the incident is that police would probably not have learned of the robbery warrant if Brown simply asked authorities for help in re-opening his car.


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