Police say a Longchamp purse, iPhone 6, cash and house keys were reported stolen Saturday afternoon from an SUV in a smash-and-grab at Waveny.
Credit cards, a driver’s license and reading glasses also were stolen after the right rear passenger window of a 2018 Lexus RX 350 was smashed while its owner was using the popular park, according to a press release issued by Police Chief Leon Krolikowski.
The larceny was reported to police at about 3:33 p.m. on Feb. 6, the chief said in the press release.
“Many towns in Fairfield County are experiencing similar crimes,” Krolikowski said in the release. “It is probable that the crimes are being committed by the same suspects. These suspects target public parks.”
The theft follows similar smash-and-grabs at Irwin Park last month.
It also comes more than 18 months after New Canaan resident and attorney Hilary Ormond launched an online petition to get security cameras at Waveny following the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
Krolikowski has said in the past that although the 300-acre park doesn’t need surveillance throughout, it would help investigators to have cameras at entrances and exits that capture images of license plates and people in vehicles.
It’s unclear whether the camera installation is complete.
After initially pushing back on the recommendation, the Board of Selectmen in December 2019 approved a $16,000 contract with a consultant to create an RFP for security system upgrades to several public properties including Waveny Park, Waveny Pool, Town Hall, Waveny House and municipal parking lots.
The town approved $50,000 for the current fiscal year to install the security cameras. In August, the selectmen approved a $57,222 contract with a Shelton-based company that specializes in areas that include video surveillance and network infrastructure.
Yet it remains unclear whether the installation is in-progress or has been completed.
Asked for an update on the status of the project, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said in an email, “I think you know that matters regarding security are generally exempt under the CT FOI statute and therefore I respectfully decline to answer any inquiries regarding the installation of security cameras at Waveny or other town properties.”
Reached by NewCanaanite.com, Ormond said in an email that the larceny at Waveny “further highlights the ongoing need for security cameras at our town parks, not only for apprehension but also increased deterrence.”
“While of course our citizens need to take responsibility to lock their cars and not leave valuables inside and visible, I continue to believe that the presence of cameras will also deter thieves from targeting our parks,” Ormond said.
In 2020, larcenies from motor vehicles in New Canaan increased 50%, from 32 to 48, police have reported.
Krolikowski in the press release urged residents to secure their valuables and never leave them in a car.
“Often, identity theft occurs when drivers’ licenses and credit cards are stolen,” he said in the release.