Police: Uptick in Stolen Vehicles, Thefts from Cars in New Canaan


New Canaan Police are urging residents to take precautions as both public parking lots and private residential driveways are seeing an uptick in stolen vehicles and thefts from cars.

The police have already received six reports in June of vehicles stolen from driveways overnight, according to Lt. Marc DeFelice, the department’s public information officer.

Nearly all of those are occurring when people leave keys or fobs in unlocked vehicles, often with valuables in sight, he said.

“We’re just trying to remind people to lock their cars at night,” DeFelice said. “Take the keys inside. Keep the valuables secure inside. And if they do have a garage, to utilize their garage.”

He added that those with motion-sensing lights and alarms should have them activated.

“If you have security cameras, that could all help the investigators if someone does become a victim,” DeFelice said.

Here’s a rundown on recent vehicle-related crime activity in New Canaan:

  • Garage door opener and loose change stolen from unlocked vehicle on Down River Road (reported at 3:21 a.m. on June 6)
  • Vehicle stolen from Summer Street driveway, unlocked with key fob inside. Recovered in Hamden (7:21 a.m. on June 6)
  • Vehicle stolen from Oenoke Ridge, unlocked with keys inside. Recovered on Oenoke Lane (9:09 a.m. on June 6)
  • Smash-and-grab on Bayberry Road, items stolen from vehicle (10:17 a.m. on June 6)
  • Stolen vehicle on Main Street, recovered in Waterbury (7:46 a.m. on June 5)
  • Stolen vehicle on Marvin Ridge Road driveway, unlocked with keys inside (8:18 p.m. on June 5)
  • Vehicle stolen from Parade Hill Road driveway, unlocked with keys inside, recovered in Danbury (8:18 a.m. on June 3)
  • Smash-and-grab at New Canaan High School lot, purse with cash and cards stolen (9:17 p.m. on May 31).

One reason for the uptick in thefts from cars likely is that nicer weather is bringing more people to public parks and areas where they can enjoy the outdoors, such as the high school. 

“People park their cars to enjoy the nice weather and utilize the parks and they’re leaving things in plain sight,” DeFelice said. “We are asking people to please secure their valuables and don’t leave anything in plain sight in their cars. Close the windows, lock the doors, take your keys with you. The  suspects in these cases predominantly are driving cars that resemble the cars that are in New Canaan. A lot of them are rental cars, so they blend in and it’s a crime of opportunity. So it’s a matter of seconds when they see an unoccupied vehicle with valuables in it.”

Asked whether police have received reports of confrontations between suspects and vehicle owners, DeFelice said no.

“And we would like to also just stress that if you do see your property being taken, don’t put your personal safety or your loved one’s safety in jeopardy,” he said. “Contact the police department immediately by 911 or our non-routine line. And just be a good witness. That’s what we ask: Be a good witness. If you do observe something suspicious, get the type of vehicle. If you could get a license plate, description of the suspects and where they left after they left the scene. Which way did they exit the park or the parking lot? Which way did they continue on the roadway?”

The vehicle thefts are spread throughout New Canaan and not contained in one specific area, he said.

3 thoughts on “Police: Uptick in Stolen Vehicles, Thefts from Cars in New Canaan

  1. The town is out growing itself. With more apartments bring more people and opportunity for thievery. I feel the town needs to stop inviting growth. It only creates greater congestion. Once people recognize this fact they will remember to lock their cars.

    • These are not local thieves. They are out-of-towners out for grab-and-go easy pickings. Keep the car locked and valuables out of sight. Why is that so hard!

  2. These theives can be quite brazen. They drove into our driveway, a team of two, in an expensive late model SUV, which was probably stolen as well. They did it in broad daylight with people in the house. Keep your doors locked or at least don’t leave your keys in the car. Your car can very possibly be used in another crime so if not for your sake, please do it for the safety of others.

    Hopefully we will not need to go back to the days of “The Club” and Benzi boxes…

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