Rash of thefts hits neighborhood

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BEACON FALLS — A neighborhood in town has fallen victim to a recent rash of car break-ins and thefts.

The break-ins occurred at the end of July in an area of town off of Route 42 known locally as “The Avenues.” Along with the break-ins, two cars were stolen from the neighborhood during the early morning hours on July 31.

Beacon Falls Resident State Trooper Humberto Henriques said the majority of the break-ins involve cars that were left unlocked. He said the person or persons responsible for these recent break-ins have been checking to see if any cars are unlocked and taking any electronics or items of value from the cars.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the best way for residents to prevent themselves from becoming victims is to ensure their vehicles are secured.

“First and most import, if not securing your car in a garage, take everything of value out of it, bring it inside and lock your car doors,” Bielik said. “If people had been following those preventative steps that would have eliminated a majority of the incidents that have occurred lately, and the rash we had a couple months ago.”

The cars stolen July 31 were from homes less than a mile apart. A black 2007 Acura MDX was stolen from 171 Feldspar Ave., and a 2002 gray Honda Civic was stolen from the driveway of the home at 15 Avenue B.

Henriques said the incidents are part of an active, ongoing investigation.

As the investigation continues, the town is working towards having 24/7 police coverage.

The town currently has eight part-time officers, three full-time officers and a resident state trooper. According to Bielik, that is enough to cover the majority of the shifts in town throughout any given week. There are sometimes during a week — depending on the schedule of state police — when the town is reliant on a state trooper patrolling Route 8 from exits 13 to 29 to provide police coverage overnight.

The 2015-16 budget includes an additional $23,500 in the police budget to hire more part-time officers to provide full-time coverage. Bielik said Lt. Eddie Rodriguez is currently pursuing candidates.

“It’s always in our best interest to ensure we get the highest qualified candidates,” Bielik said. “The quality of the people we have now is through the roof. We are lucky to have these part-timers, who are either active duty or retired officers. I can’t speak highly enough about them. That’s the quality of applicant we are looking for moving forward.”

Although Bielik feels additional officers would benefit the town, he said the current person or persons who committed the recent break-ins didn’t wait for the times when the town is relying on the Route 8 trooper for coverage.

“It seems to be random and comes in bursts. There isn’t a specific pattern we have noticed,” Bielik said.

Henriques said residents could help themselves and others by keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior.

“They can help by being good neighbors and keeping a lookout. Most incidents are occurring overnight hours, so if they see anybody walking around late at night call the police,” Henriques said.

Bielik said police are focusing more attention on The Avenues following the recent thefts. He added that the person responsible for the rash of break-ins earlier this year was eventually caught.

“Everybody should realize we are doing the utmost for local protection,” Bielik said. “We had a successful conclusion to the rash of break-ins we had occurring a few months ago. We have every expectation that we will have a positive outcome for this one as well.”