Police charge youth in burglary, vandalism spree

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NAUGATUCK — Police charged two teenage girls and an 11-year-old boy Monday with a five-month spree of burglary, vandalism, and theft in the Horizon Homes apartments on Andrew Avenue.

Police said the trio and another boy, who has yet to be arrested, broke into apartments and caused damage amounting to at least $1,000. They wrote racial slurs on one woman’s wall, ripped pages out of her passport and stole her master’s degree certificate, according to police. They also stole packages, including Christmas presents and prescription medication, from outside tenants’ doors, according to police.

All four of the suspected youth live in the borough. Their names are being withheld because they are minors.

Reports began rolling in last July, when a woman moving into an apartment found her apartment burglarized twice in one day. She came home after noon July 8 to find eggs, soap and paper towels thrown throughout the apartment, reported the incident to police and left.

Just before 8 p.m., she told police she came back and found the screen on her bedroom window pushed into the apartment, items from suitcases in the bedroom strewn about, pages torn out of her Indian passport and the shower running. Her W-2 tax forms were ripped in half, racial slurs and obscene drawings were scrawled on the walls and her master’s certificate from the University of North Carolina was missing, according to police. Sheet rock in the apartment was also damaged, according to police.

A 14-year-old girl who lives in the apartment complex had noticed the sliding door unlocked the night before and opened it for her three visiting friends the following day, they told police. They admitted to causing the damage, except the Horizon Homes girl, who denied entering the apartment, although police found her story inconsistent.

Weeks later, a woman moving out of another apartment reported to police she came home to find a hole in the closet, garbage on the floor and air conditioners turned on. It was not clear how the intruders entered the apartment.

The superintendent of the complex in mid-December reported doors had been broken in several apartments, with spackle smeared on walls, door handles and outlets. In one apartment, drawers from the refrigerator were thrown onto the floor and the carpet was soaked with water, apparently from the spray hose on the sink, the superintendent said. Candy wrappers, cigarettes, and drawings left at the scene caused officials to suspect teenagers.

Three days later, a woman reported to the superintendent that a wreath had been stolen from her door. He followed a trail of Christmas ornaments down a set of stairs to a laundry room in the basement, where he found a wreath and a gray leather handbag with the $199 price tag still attached. The prices on the washers and dryers had been changed to $10 using permanent marker, which was also used to scrawl two of the youths’ names on the wall, according to police.

Police found two opened packages, and one unopened, in the laundry room trash can. One contained a prescription slip for 90 pills of Diazepam, an anti-anxiety medication. The tenant the pills were addressed to told police he never received them. Another box was supposed to contain a Blu-ray Disc, according to police.
Both girls and one of the boys were walking the halls of the complex when they took the packages from outside apartment doors, according to police. The youths admitted to taking one Diazepam each.

The youth surrendered to police on burglary and criminal mischief charges. The girls were also charged with sixth-degree larceny. They were all taken to the Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center.