Chief: Police Doing ‘Exceptional Work,’ Making Progress in Armed Robbery Case


Surveillance video of a robber in the People's Bank in New Canaan on Oct. 28, 2020. Image courtesy of the New Canaan Police Department

New Canaan’s chief of police said Tuesday that investigators are making progress in connection with the widely discussed armed robbery last fall of People’s Bank on Main Street.

Two suspects made off with nearly $9,000 cash in the brazen daytime robbery.

Chief Leon Krolikowski told members of the Board of Selectmen that the crime was unusual for New Canaan.

“Look for that in the coming weeks, for some pretty exceptional work and progress on that crime,” he said during a budget hearing before the Board.

“The bank robbery was unusual in that it was armed, and we don’t see very many bank robberies,” Krolikowski added.

The chief’s comments came during a summary of the New Canaan Police Department’s work during the past year as he presented a proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2022. It includes a .9% increase to the department’s operating budget, following a year that saw a 1.7% decrease.

A vehicle used by the suspects to get away—described at the time as an early- to mid- 2000s red two-door Chevrolet Monte Carlo missing a right front hubcap—was parked about two minutes away, on East Maple Street, after the crime. It later was set afire and found by authorities on Green Avenue, another two minutes away.

No one has been charged yet in connection with the bank robbery.

On the morning of Jan. 8, 10 NCPD units could be seen responding to a residence on East Maple Street. Police when asked about a connection to the October robbery declined to comment, saying their investigation was ongoing.

Krolikowski during his summary note that police have seen an increase in fraud cases targeting businesses.

“In essence, someone will monitor a business’s email and at some point they’ll know there’s a transaction pending and they’ll contact the business and say, hey, we know this is happening, can you wire $50,000 or $100,000 in advance,” Krolikowski said. “And the business doesn’t have the right protections in place, or protocols, and they’ll get taken advantage of. So we have seen that over the past year or so. We’ve seen some targeted specific fraud related to that. Certainly it’s unusual for us.”

The chief also noted that New Canaan has seen “retail theft gangs” come to the downtown from other municipalities. Police reported in November that criminals stole more than $7,000 in merchandise from Ralph Lauren on Elm Street in two separate incidents.

New Canaan has not had “targeted financial crimes to residents per se,” the chief said. 

“There’s always identity theft, that’s a continuous problem, but we have seen a fair number of family disputes and psychiatric incidents at residences, which I believe is connected back to the pandemic and all the stress that people are feeling,” he said. “Because sometimes that brings out underlying behavioral health issues.”

Police recently assigned Officer Kelly Coughlin to the Community Resource Officer role, patrolling the downtown.

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