DARIEN, Conn. – After a string of more than 20 car burglaries and two stolen vehicles in Darien in the past two weeks, two Stamford teens were arrested Thursday morning as part of an ongoing investigation, police said.
During processing, one of the teens told police, "Everyone knows you can go to Darien to get money," referring to the number of unlocked cars in town that contain valuables and keys. All the cars that were broken into recently were unlocked, and the two stolen cars had their keys in them, police said.
On Wednesday the Darien Police Department Selective Enforcement Unit, Detective Division and Patrol Division conducted a joint surveillance operation targeting car theft suspects. At about 1 a.m. Thursday undercover officers saw a male subject entering the driveway of a home on Post Road near the Stamford town line where numerous car burglaries have been reported recently.
The subject was detained and identified as a 17-year-old Stamford resident. Police said that it was determined that two nearby vehicles had been burglarized, and the teen had items from the cars in his possession.
Through the course of the investigation police identified a second suspect who had fled the scene, police said. SEU officers met with Stamford Police officers and located the second suspect at his home in Stamford. The second suspect was identified as a 17-year-old Stamford resident, police said. Both suspects were taken to Darien Police Headquarters for booking.
Police determined that the first teen was responsible for numerous Darien car burglaries, as well as the theft of a 2011 Land Rover on Feb. 16. Police said he was arrested in Stamford when he was discovered driving the car on Feb. 18, and that additional arrests are expected in that incident.
The first teen was charged with 14 counts of third-degree burglary. The second teen was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary.
The first teen said that he needed money for narcotics, and told police that it is common knowledge that cars are often left unlocked in Darien, police said.
Both teens were released to their parents and will appear in court on Feb. 28. The Stamford Police Department Youth Bureau indicated that they will be following up with both and charging them for their involvement in numerous incidents that occurred recently in Stamford, police said.
Police said that during the surveillance operation, three other Stamford men were observed dressed in black and running along the Post Road near the Stamford town line. They were all detained by undercover officers. Police said that though they all had significant criminal histories, including violent felonies, there was no probable cause to connect them to any recent criminal activities and they were released.
Police said it was presumed the three were detained prior to having the opportunity to engage in criminal activity. The information was passed along to the Stamford Police Department.
Police said the investigation into the current car theft and burglary problem will remain ongoing, and will involve additional surveillance operations, deployment of additional manpower, and networking with surrounding agencies including the Stamford Superior Court and the Stamford Office of Juvenile Probation.
"Again the Darien Police Department continues to implore residents to secure your vehicles," police said. "Do not leave valuables in your vehicles and never leave your ignition keys behind. Thank you."