Open door: Why suspects tell cops thieves target Darien

It is not just car doors. It is your home too — even while you are there, sleeping.

Darien continues to experience an increase in overnight-hour burglaries of unlocked motor vehicles. This trend is not isolated to Darien, as the majority of towns and cities in Fairfield County, and Connecticut, continue to experience these incidents at increasing rates.

Many of these crimes are perpetrated by juvenile offenders who, when caught, inform police officers that it is common knowledge that towns like Darien are target-rich environments.

Why is Darien target rich, according to the offenders?

"’I've had suspects relay to me personally that it’s common knowledge that Darien has a tendency to have a large amount unsecured vehicles on any given night" — Detective James Palmieri

A more recent trend in Fairfield County is the occurrence of residential burglaries (burglary involves unlawful entry) committed in conjunction with the ongoing motor vehicle burglaries. In the overnight hours of Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 9  to Jan. 10, two more such incidents occurred in Darien.

In one incident, a resident was awoken to the sound of their car being stolen. The resident informed officers that the vehicle had been left unlocked with the keys inside. In addition, the suspect struck a second vehicle parked in the driveway while leaving with the car that was stolen.

In another incident, a resident awoke to a sound they believed to be a family member arriving home. As the resident exited their bedroom, they observed an intruder in their home. Upon seeing the homeowner, the intruder immediately fled. Police determined that the intruder had ransacked parts of the residence and taken several items. Additionally, both vehicles in the driveway had been entered. The homeowner informed officers that both the door to her residence where the intruder gained access, and her vehicles, had been left unlocked.

Several motor vehicle burglaries were discovered and reported on the morning of Jan. 10.

In the overwhelming majority of these incidents, the vehicles and/or residences were left unlocked. The Darien Police Department continues to encourage residents to make themselves a “hard target” by simply locking their vehicle and/or residence. With the apparent increase in residential burglaries in Fairfield County, Darien Police say they don’t want Darien to be known as an easy target.

The Darien Police Department said they are committed to aggressively investigating the criminals who commit these crimes, but said the greater concern is for the safety and security of residents. Darien Police ask residents to be proactive — examples of simple steps:

  •    Lock Your Vehicle

  •    Remove the keys (in particular proximity keys) when exiting your vehicle

  •    Remove attractive valuables from your vehicle when exiting

  •    Do not store proximity keys in an area close to the associated vehicle

  •    Lock your residence

  •    If applicable, arm your home security system (or consider installation)

  •    Consider the installation of security cameras

  •    Keep valuables away from doors/windows in your residence

Darien Police advise residents to report it if they have a  security camera system, and it records anything out of the ordinary — even if they aren’t a victim of a crime.

The suspects that commit these crimes are often involved in other, more serious crimes. Vehicles stolen in Darien have been involved in more serious incidents in Fairfield County. Darien Police said by working with the community, Darien less attractive to those who wish to come to our town and commit these dangerous acts.

Anyone with concerns or who is a victim of a crime are urged to call the Darien Police.