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Westport sees rise in daylight auto thefts, carjacking

%E2%80%9C%5BThe+rise+in+carjackings%5D+is+not+just+a+Westport+problem%2C%E2%80%9D+Police+Chief+Foti+Koskinas+told+Westport+residents+at+a+town+hall+on+Sep.+20.+Communities+all+across+Fairfield+County+are+seeing+juveniles+from+other+parts+of+Connecticut+coming+into+wealthier+areas+to+steal+vehicles%2C+with+a+larger+proportion+of+these+carjackings+happening+in+daylight+rather+than+at+night.+
Graphic by Henry Watson ‘25
“[The rise in carjackings] is not just a Westport problem,” Police Chief Foti Koskinas told Westport residents at a town hall on Sep. 20. Communities all across Fairfield County are seeing juveniles from other parts of Connecticut coming into wealthier areas to steal vehicles, with a larger proportion of these carjackings happening in daylight rather than at night.

The Westport Police Department has reported 50 car thefts in 2023 before Sep. 30, a number that is on track to surpass the previous 2022 count of 60 thefts.

“That’s [certainly] a trend that we’re seeing, and it’s a bit unnerving,” Deputy Police Chief Ryan Paulsson told Patch.

The Town Hall auditorium hosted a public safety forum on Sep. 20 in response to growing resident’s concerns after a violent theft of an Aston Martin in Westport was caught on film and was widely viewed online. The meeting was hosted only one day after the two perpetrators and Aston Martin were recovered.

“I think the sentiment about the crime that is occurring and the increase in criminal activity in this community are both reasons why people are worried,” Westport Police Lieutenant Eric Woods said. 

This incident incited some police officers to request more powers and for Connecticut to impose tighter consequences for repeat offenders.

We need to both appropriately punish repeat offenders [but also need] to pursue rehabilitation so that people can re-enter society after they have served their sentences. We can do both.

— Westport Selectwoman Savin Candice

“All Police…cannot pursue for property crimes or even non-violent felonies,” Woods said. “The first step is holding people who commit crimes accountable for their actions.  This state, especially with juveniles, has made it a revolving door when people commit crimes.”

Others contend that the Connecticut rehabilitation system allows for kids to not have their lives irreparably impacted by decisions made in their youth, and that there can be a balance between rehabilitating people and keeping people safe. 

“Reducing crime is not an either or proposition,” Westport Selectwoman Savin Candice said. “We need to both appropriately punish repeat offenders [but also need] to pursue rehabilitation so that people can re-enter society after they have served their sentences. We can do both.”

Nevertheless, the rise in daylight carjackings has led to some Staples students taking precautions to protect their vehicles and personal belongings. 

“There’s some basic stuff students can do to protect their cars at the Staples parking lot,” Matthew Guadarrama ’25 said. “At the very least…lock car doors and [protect] your valuables.”

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About the Contributor
Henry Watson ’25, Paper News Editor
News Editor Henry Watson ’25 has an unique interest: the stock market.  “I have a strong interest in the stock market and people who contribute to this country,” Watson said. “When I grow up I want to work for a pension fund managing money for state workers.” Watson has embraced this passion along with others.  “In my free time I like to stock trade, draw or sketch,” Watson said.  Watson joined Inklings originally to keep up with news.  “I joined Inklings because I like reading the news,” Watson said. “Many of my hobbies involve reading the news to stay well-informed.” 

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