Darien Police said that a gray 2011 BMW X3 was parked in its owner’s driveway at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19 and it was discovered missing the next morning. The owner told police he was not sure if he locked the vehicle, and he may have left a spare key fob in the vehicle as well. An unlocked 2009 Volvo XC70 was also parked in the driveway when it was burglarized, police said. A $200 Magellan GPS was taken.
While investigating the stolen BMW, police were approached by another Relihan Road resident, who said three unlocked vehicles parked in his driveway had been entered, police said. The vehicles were a 2002 Ford Escape, a 2004 Toyota Tacoma and a 2011 BMW 328xi. The BMW had a GPS device removed and the Ford Escape had an iPod taken from the driver’s seat. The values of these devices are unknown, police said.
A short distance away, on Thomasina Lane, another car was burglarized. The 2002 Honda Odyssey was left unlocked in the driveway, and the owner told police she had left her pocketbook with $400 cash and credit cards on the floor of the car. When she went to retrieve her pocketbook Tuesday morning, she discovered her wallet had been taken. The owner said she was able to cancel the credit cards before they could be fraudulently used.
The next day, police responded to two more unlocked vehicle burglaries in the same area — another one on Relihan Road, and one just down the street on Anthony Lane. At approximately 4:30 a.m, an Anthony Lane resident reported looking out her window and seeing a person running up her driveway. Her husband checked their unlocked 2012 Toyota RAV4 and discovered one of the doors slightly ajar. Taken from the glove compartment were $7 in singles, police said. No description of the person was able to be provided due to darkness.
Over on Relihan, the owner of a 2003 Chevy Malibu told police that someone went through her glove compartment and a small amount of change taken. This car was also unlocked, police said.
Police said it is likely that this burglary occurred in concert with the others reported in the area.
Darien has tradionally been targeted by theives because of the town’s reputation for leaving cars unlocked. Police continue to warn residents to lock their car doors, and they even display a sticker on the back of patrol vehicles advising residents to secure their vehicles.
In June, 17 cars were burglarized in one night. An investigation led to arrests of four men after a police license plate reader scanned the suspects’ vehicle as it drove through town. In August of 2011, 19 cars were burglarized in two weeks. Typical stolen items included everything from cash and clothes to golf clubs, jewelry and electronics. Nearly $1,000 in cash was stolen from a 2011 Ford Explorer off Heights Road last year.
In 2008, Darien Police arrested a reportedly homeless man, Jose Briceno, who was caught by Greenwich Police as he was breaking into a car. Briceno had earlier eluded Darien Police as he ran shirtless across town, leading to a two-hour lock-down of Hindley School, after he had broken into at least four cars. During interrogation, Briceno was candid with police about his choice to target Darien.
“It was so easy to steal [things] from Darien,” Briceno told police during a 2008 interview. “Everyone leaves their cars unlocked.”