Police: 40 New Canaan Mailboxes Hit Early Sunday

Police say thieves rifled through dozens of New Canaan mailboxes early Sunday, opening 14 on Main Street and 25 on White Oak Shade Road while stealing mail and a package from a mailbox on Nursery Road. 

At about 6 a.m. on Oct. 18, police following up on a report of a residential mailbox that had been entered on White Oak Shade found others that had been opened, and while nothing immediately was known to be stolen from those, “The theft of mail often leads to financial crimes and identity theft,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said in a press release. “We urge all residents to bring sensitive mail—especially mail that contains checks—to the Post Office rather than leave in an non-secure residential mailbox,” the chief said in the press release. The report of the Nursery Road theft came in around a.m. Sunday, the chief said. News of the illegal entries comes weeks after police arrested two men accused of stealing from four mailboxes on Frogtown Road.

Police: Down 29% in 2020, Motor Vehicle Violations To Start Rising

Police say they expect to see the number of ticketed motorists rise after falling off steeply in the past six months due to changes that followed the onset of COVID-19 virus. Through August, the number of ticketed motorists in 2020 was down 29% from the year-ago period, from 2,388 to 1,687, according to data released during the Sept. 16 meeting of the Police Commission. “COVID issues had a lot to do with that,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said during the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“A lot of people weren’t driving and the officers were kind of responding to the more critical calls that they needed to. We are starting to see motor vehicle violations pick up and enforcement pick up as, more or less, the state opens up and everyone gets a little bit more comfortable.

Police: Reports of ‘Suspicious People’ Rise with Motor Vehicle Thefts

The number of calls New Canaan Police are receiving about “suspicious” people in vehicles has risen dramatically this year, officials said Wednesday. Through August, the total number of such calls was up 34% year-over-year, from 192 to 257, according to data shared at a regular meeting of the Police Commission. “It’s an interesting development,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said in response to a question about why the figure is up so much. 

“And I suspect there are a portion of our residents who are seeing suspicious activity and calling us because of the stolen vehicles and thefts from vehicles, et cetera,” Krolikowski said during the meeting, held via videoconference .” And that has resulted in that uptick. But sadly, there is another percentage of residents that are just not paying attention and their cars are getting stolen, things are getting stolen from their cars. So the good news is the message is getting out there about calling us when people see suspicious vehicles or activity.

Three Vehicles, Unlocked with Keys Inside, Stolen from New Canaan

Police say three cars have been stolen from New Canaan since Sunday, all unlocked with keys inside. 

The first, a 2020 Lexus RX350, was reported stolen from out front of a Gower Road residence at about 8:29 a.m. on Aug. 16, according to a press release issued by New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. A 2020 Volvo Xc40 T5 was reported stolen at about 5:08 a.m. Monday from Canoe Hill Road, and a 2014 Audi A6 3.0 Q was reported stolen from a Main Street driveway at about 8:46 a.m. Monday, the chief said. The Audi has not yet been recovered. 

“In addition to three cars being stolen, five larcenies from vehicles were reported on August 17, 2020,” he said in the press release. “All five vehicles entered were unlocked.

‘Respectful and Professional’: Longtime Colleagues on Ousted Emergency Management Director

Municipal officials who have worked closely with Mike Handler for years as members of the New Canaan Emergency Operations Center describe him as respectful, professional and skilled—a description that is at odds with a picture that has been painted by the town’s highest elected official. The widely popular emergency management director resigned from the volunteer position last week at the request of First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, setting off impassioned debate among New Canaan residents who long have been accustomed to Handler’s timely and reassuring updates during emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Moynihan has said Handler’s own “conduct” brought on the request for his resignation, offering no details other than that there was an issue of “respect” and that complaints regarding Handler had come in for an extended period of time, from health officials and others. Handler called those allegations “hurtful and baseless,” and town officials responded to a public records request for any emails Health Department staff complaining about him to Moynihan in the week prior to his dismissal by saying there weren’t any. Asked for an assessment of the job Handler did with the EOC, Fire Chief Jack Hennessey said he’s worked with Handler since coming to New Canaan in 2006 and he “never witnessed any harsh or mistreatment of any of the volunteer or town staff team members working in the EOC over the numerous activations we have had in the past 10 years.”

“Mike Handler and his team has always done an exemplary job for the town of New Canaan,” Hennessey said.