The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Police: Car thieves entered homes in 3 towns to take keys

- By Peter Yankowski

GUILFORD — Police are reminding residents to lock up their homes overnight as well as vehicles, as they said cars recently were stolen from three towns after the thieves allegedly burglarize­d homes to find the car keys.

The cars were taken Thursday morning from Guilford, Madison and Branford, Guilford police said in a Facebook post later that evening.

“These criminals decided that a locked car was not the end of their deviance,” the post said. “They decided to search for unlocked doors in the victims houses, waltz inside and steal the keys to the locked cars in the driveways and garages.”

At least one of the cars later turned up in Plymouth, according to police there, after it crashed.

Police said the homeowners in Guilford were at home when the thieves broke in around 6 a.m. A dog also was present, according to police.

The post did not say how many suspects police believe were involved.

Also taken from the homes: credit cards, electronic­s, purses, wallets and checkbooks. Police said the burglars went through the shoreline neighborho­ods “in minutes.”

After the car thefts, police said the thieves allegedly drove to Naugatuck, going on a “spending spree” with the stolen cards before ditching two of the three cars they had taken in Waterbury. Police in Waterbury helped track the cars and identified at least one of the suspects.

Plymouth police said the car stolen out of Madison, a BMW X5 SUV, was found around 5:11 p.m., after the vehicle crashed. Officers were dispatched to the motor vehicle accident on South Main Street near Greystone Road. Two suspects fled from the car on foot into the nearby woods, according to police, leading police to set up a perimeter.

Waterbury police sent a canine unit to help search, but the search was later called off “due to declining weather and lighting conditions,” Plymouth police said. It’s believed the two were able to evade police and escape the perimeter.

Plymouth police told residents to call 911 if they see anything suspicious, and said one of the suspects was described as a tall thin male in a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Guilford police said they are stepping up patrols, but urged people to call them if they see anything suspicious — and to lock up their homes and their cars.

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