Unlocked cars result in continual car break-ins

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Photo by Grace Livechhi '21

A still image of a Webb Road resident’s security camera depicts a car break-in occurring on March 15 at 2:17 a.m.

Grace Livecchi ’21, Social Media Director

Multiple cars surrounding Whitney Street in Westport were broken into on March 15. Security cameras revealed the break-ins took place by a single individual in multiple intervals. The first was between 2:00-3:00 in the morning and the second occasion around 9:00 in the evening. 

 No cars were stolen in the area that night, and most cars had nothing missing after the raids. Footage from various cameras around the neighborhood showed that the individual did not further attempt to break into a car if it was locked. This incident is just one instance of an ongoing problem that has been affecting Connecticut for the past two and a half to three years.

Abby Ragland ’21, a Hen Hawk Lane resident, was one whose car was tampered with on the culprit’s second series of raids. She said this is not the first time something of this nature happened on her street.  

“In September, my neighbor got his new car stolen in broad daylight, so I’m not surprised this happened,” Ragland said.

After admitting to not always regularly locking her car, Ragland explained how, with multiple, recent cases on her street, she has walked away with the important lesson that this can happen to anyone. 

“In the future, we will definitely be more cautious in the neighborhood with our belongings and will lock everything,” Ragland said.

In order to prevent future car robberies, the Westport Police Department focused their attention on public information campaigns, as the majority of the time, carjackers are going into unlocked vehicles. Lieutenant David Wollf said that while citizens can take better steps to prevent break-ins,  stolen car cases are treated the same,whether or not the keys were in the car.

“We ultimately don’t want to make people feel bad if they are the victim of a crime,”  Wollf said, “so we don’t do less just because the keys were in the vehicle.”

In the future, we will definitely be more cautious in the neighborhood with our belongings and will lock everything.”

— Abby Ragland '21

Jamie Bernard, who resides in the area, captured footage of the break-in with her doorbell camera. 

“[We saw] one person walking very nonchalantly up our driveway as if they were coming to say, ‘hello,’” Bernard said.

Since nothing was taken from her car, police told Bernard there was not much else they could do aside from stopping by to ask follow up questions. 

“I get their perspective, though I obviously wish they would find the person and put them in jail,” Bernard said. “Everyone wants to feel that they’re comfortable coming in and out of their house and not looking to see what’s around the corner.”