WESPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — The town of Westport held a public safety forum at the town hall on Wednesday, after a violent carjacking on Sunday.
The Westport Police Department shared theft statistics and what officers are doing to combat this issue of carjackings and auto thefts.
“We do realize that when a car is stolen out of your driveway, it is not just a property crime,” Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas said. “You’ve been victimized, you feel violated, you feel unsafe.”
Residents were alarmed after two suspects followed a man to his home on Bayberry Drive over the weekend, attacked him and then stole his Aston Market.
Police said the carjacking happened in the middle of the day, a trend police say is on the rise.
“So we’re seeing more cars taken from public property, parking lots, cars left running outside of a restaurant and someone runs in to get food,” Westport Police Deputy Chief Ryan Paulson said.
Police said Sunday’s crime is the only carjacking they’ve seen in Westport in recent years, but they have received 50 reports of stolen cars since January.
Officers on the Regional Auto Theft Task Force report that in most cases, cars stolen in Westport are used for crimes in other Connecticut towns and cities.
The Aston Martin was found at a Berlin home, with three other cars, including one also stolen from Westport.
Police said many drivers leave their keys in the car, making it easy for it to be stolen.
“We have to be more vigilant and aware of our surroundings and we’re asking residents to do the same,” Westport Police Lt. Eric Woods said.
Police identified two suspects including a 16-year-old but the investigation is not over.
People left the meeting feeling a little bit better, now that they know how to protect themselves.
“I want to educate myself and I’m concerned about my neighbors and so it’s good to be informed about what’s going on around you and be prepared for anything,” said Patti Brill of Westport.
Police are expecting to make more arrests in the carjacking case.