Police investigate rash of thefts from unlocked vehicles, three stolen cars

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MONROE, CT — Thieves entered well over 20 unlocked vehicles from Thursday night into Friday morning, stealing valuables and driving off with three cars that had sets of keys inside.

While not blaming the victims, Police Lt. Greg Smith reminds drivers to lock the doors of their vehicles and not to leave valuables inside.

He said groups of juveniles from cities are committing the crimes. And when Ring Camera footage captures them, Smith said it shows them walking the length of a street trying every car door.

If doors are locked, Smith said thieves will avoid breaking a window because of the noise, and instead move on to another vehicle because they know a lot will be left unlocked and easy to enter.

“They come back because they make out well,” Smith said. “If they’re not able to steal stuff and cars, many will move on to another town.”

Smith said police only know of incidents of vehicles being entered when the crimes are reported and from canvassing neighborhoods when they are investigating a theft. He said some incidents are never reported.

Stolen vehicles

On Friday, a Honda CR-V was reported stolen on Sunset Hill Drive. Police said it was left unlocked with the keys inside.

A 2018 Kia Sorento was reported stolen from a driveway on 6 Birchwood Road the same day. The theft also occurred sometime overnight. Police said a spare key was left in the glove compartment.

A Ring Camera showed someone walking on the street between 2:45 and 3:20 a.m. on Friday. Police said at least a half dozen cars were entered on Birchwood Road.

On Aug. 1, the Kia was recovered in Stratford, police said.

A third vehicle was reported stolen on Jones Hill Road sometime overnight, according to another complaint filed Friday. An unlocked Volvo XC70 with the keys inside was taken, police said, adding several vehicles in the neighborhood were entered.

Thefts from vehicles

Two unlocked vehicles owned by a couple on Birchwood Lane were entered and a debit card, two credit cards, a driver’s license and a checkbook were stolen from one car, police said.

Lt. Smith said both credit cards were used by the thief. Three transactions at a gas station totaling $92 were made successfully and another attempted transaction was denied, he said.

A wallet was stolen from an unlocked vehicle on Weather Vane Hill sometime overnight, according to a complaint made Friday. The wallet contained a driver’s license, cash and credit cards, police said.

Another wallet was stolen from an unlocked vehicle on Birchwood Road. Police said the owner’s daughter had left her wallet, containing $300 in cash, inside his car.

A set of keys was stolen from a car that was rummaged through on Valley View Road, police said, adding the victim has since had all of his locks changed.

On Friday morning, a Birchwood Road man told police both he and his wife’s unlocked vehicles had been entered and rummaged through.

An Apple iPod Mini, $500 cash, a $500 pair of sneakers, a $200 backpack and a wallet with a driver’s license and credit cards were taken from the husband’s vehicle, police said.

An attempt was made to use one of the credit cards in Stratford, police said, adding the victim has since cancelled his cards.

His wife noticed her $350 pair of sunglasses was missing, according to the report.

A Settlers Farm Road resident, who said he believes someone stole some cash from the center console of his vehicle, did not wish to make a report.

Numerous vehicles had been entered with nothing reported missing. Among the streets that were hit were Old Tannery Road, Valley View Road and William Henry Drive.

Smash and grab

Lt. Smith said thieves are more likely to smash a window of a locked vehicle in the daytime when they see something of value inside. If activity is going on in the area, he said a thief has a better chance of getting away with making noise, while entering the one vehicle and immediately leaving the scene.

That is what happened in Wolfe Park’s overflow parking lot on Saturday evening, when someone smashed the passenger window of a Subaru Forester and stole a purse.

Police said the victim arrived at the park around 5 p.m. and had left her vehicle for an hour when the theft occurred. She has since cancelled all of her credit cards, the report said.

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