David Belton, 18, of Bridgeport, is the fifth man arrested over the burglary spree after Bridgeport Police arrested him on an unrelated matter. A warrant had been issued for Belton’s arrest since late July, said Darien Police Det. Mark Cappelli. Belton faces two counts of first-degree burglary and 17 counts of third-degree burglary from a motor vehicle, and conspiracy to commit burglary.
Belton was turned over to Darien Police on Thursday, Sept. 13. He was held on a $100,000 bond and he has court on Thursday, Sept. 27. Each suspect faces up to 150 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
An automatic license plate reader had helped police make their initial arrests of Nelson Emilio Rivera, 24, of Trumbull, and Bridgeport resident Livelle Sampson, 21. Police said the device recorded the plate numbers of a car registered to a woman who let her boyfriend use her car in the heist, police said.
The men charged had driven past a police patrol car on the night the incidents took place. License plate readers automatically scan hundreds of vehicles a day in Darien. Police have been using the reader in town for three years.
As a result of the plate reader’s data, Darien Police and officers from other agencies have recovered stolen property from Darien, Norwalk, Wilton, Westport, Trumbull, Stratford, North Haven, Cheshire, Cromwell and Meriden.
After making the initial two arrests, police arrested Joshua Rivera, 21, who is Emilio Rivera’s brother, police confirmed, and issued the warrant for Belton.
The burglaries occurred during the overnight hours of June 17 and 18. During the investigation, police searched Sampson’s Rock Ridge Circle home and found numerous stolen items including a shotgun and a .25-caliber automatic handgun, police said.
Some of the areas targeted include Holly Lane, Edgewood Road, Herman Avenue and Old Parish Road. One neighbor reported hearing burglars in their home at 5:30 a.m., according to neighbor reports. In emails being sent among area residents, some were saying police said it was gang from the Bronx. Police Capt. Fred Komm denied the Bronx gang connection.
A minimal amount of property was taken, Komm said, and a stolen credit card was subsequently used in the Bronx.
Ann Reed, a Libby Lane resident, said she discovered her car had been one of the many hit on late Sunday or early Monday morning. Fortunately for her nothing was stolen. “The police came by early Monday and I discovered that thieves had gone through my car but taken nothing,” said Reed, who added she doesn’t keep money or cards in her car.
According to neighbor reports, several cars, which were apparently unlocked, were “ransacked.” At least one of those cars was parked in a garage, which was left open. And, according to neighbors, Libby Lane residents heard prowlers inside their home at 5:30 Monday morning.
Police have had several reports this spring of thieves preying on unlocked cars in town. Reed said that living in a community like Darien gives residents a false sense of small town security.
“My car will always be locked in my driveway from now on,” she said.
Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron said this investigation was “a perfect example of current of technology coupled with old fashioned police work.” “It really benefited and aided in the investigation in solving several crimes that took place over an extended period of time,” Marron told The Times. “Detectives worked really hard on it. It’s a good example of networking between several agencies.”