Police have arrested three teenagers in connection with an overnight car theft and several car burglaries committed in Darien during the last few months. An officer patrolling near Hollow Tree Ridge Road at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 11 stopped two young men walking on foot in the neighborhood for questioning. While speaking with them the officer saw a third person nearby leaving a residential driveway on foot and called for backup.

Another officer responing to the area located an abandoned Ford Econoline van on the Post Rd, partially blocking the intersection with Hollow Tree Ridge Rd. The van had no lights on, a flat tire, and the engine compartment was smoking. The three individuals that the first officer had detained were located less than a quarter of a mile of where the van was located. Officers were then able to contact the registered owner of the van who indicated that the van should have been parked in the driveway of his nearby Post Rd. residence. The owner also explained that the keys had been left in the vehicle because it was being donated to a local charity and was scheduled to get picked up this week.

Through investigation it was determined that the three individuals that were detained had in fact stolen the van from the driveway of the residence. When the vehicle became disabled, they abandoned it and began walking northbound on Hollow Tree Ridge Rd.

The subjects were identified as Jonathan Blanco, 18, and  Richard Beltran, 19, of Stamford, and the third subject who was seen emerging from the driveway was identified as a juvenile. Initially while identifying Blanco, he provided a fake name to disguise his identity and later would be charged accordingly. All three subjects were taken into custody and transported to police headquarters separately. During processing, Blanco was extremely uncooperative and while secured in a cell, caused damage to the toilet on two occasions.

The two older suspects were charged with larceny and burglary in the third degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree. Blanco received additional charges for interfering with an officer and criminal mischief. They were both held on $5,000 bond while the underage suspect was referred to the Stamford Court of Juvenile Matters and released to an adult.