The Westport Police Department says;
As the COVID-19 quarantines and associated restrictions have gradually eased in Connecticut, you may have noticed an increase in daily vehicular traffic throughout Fairfield County.
Unfortunately, traffic is not all that seems to be on the rise. What has been the most striking to the Westport Police Department is a marked increase in property crimes.
Comparing an approximately 40-day period from late May to early July in 2019 and 2020, statistics indicate an upward trend.
In every case, the stolen vehicle was left unlocked with keys inside overnight. Some of these vehicles were recovered in other jurisdictions, but many remain unaccounted for.
Almost always closely tied to motor vehicle thefts are burglaries of parked and unoccupied vehicles in driveways.
In the specified time frame in 2019, the department handled 5 incidents of motor vehicles being entered/burglarized. In 2020 we handled 11 of these types of incidents in that same time frame.
In all recent cases, the vehicles were left unlocked. In multiple cases, wallets containing credit cards were stolen and subsequently used to make purchases. The actual numbers of these types of incidents are assumed to be higher than as reported, as many residents do not notify police in situations where vehicles were entered but nothing of any significant value appears to have been taken.
In this sample period in 2019, the department investigated 3 burglary complaints (2 commercial, 1 residentail). In this same stretch of time in 2020 we have investigated 6 residential burglaries, 4 of which included forced entry. The most brazen was perpetrated in the overnight hours while the home was occupied and the residents asleep. Entry was gained through an unlocked door.
In 2019, the department responded to 1 shoplifting incident within this timeframe. In the same period in 2020, we have responded to 8 such complaints.
Please let this data serve as a stark reminder that property crimes and theft seem to be trending upward in Westport. Again, this is a small sample in time of slightly more than a month, but it merits careful attention.
Measures are being taken by the department to stop or slow this trend. Preventative measures such as locking doors, arming alarms and securing valuables, coupled with the vigilance of our officers, is the key to safeguarding our neighborhoods.
If you observe suspicious activity in your neighborhood, please don’t delay in contacting us. Maintaining public safety and security is only possible through a continued partnership with the residents we proudly serve.
No one knows your neighborhood better than you do. The information and feedback provided by our community is vital to our crime prevention efforts and overall effectiveness as a law enforcement agency.