GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Guilford Police are searching for a group of suspects that broke into unlocked homes in multiple towns to then steal cars and use stolen credit cards for purchases.
Police said a group of suspects broke and entered into unlocked homes in Guilford, Madison, and Branford Thursday morning to find keys to the cars they allegedly stole. Police said other personal items including credit cards, small electronics, wallets, purses, and checkbooks, were stolen from the homes. One Guilford home was invaded at 6 a.m. Thursday, according to police, while the owners and pets were in the home.
“It is very brazen for somebody to go to that level,” said Guilford Police Chief Warren “Butch” Hyatt, Jr.
One couple who spoke to News 8 and did not want to be identified live on Uncas Circle in Guilford.
“Yeah it’s concerning,” said the woman. “I’m always scared kind of staying in the house because we don’t lock it that much.”
Shortly after the car thefts, the suspects went to Naugatuck where they used the stolen credit cards for purchases. They eventually ditched two out of the three stolen vehicles in Waterbury, police said.
Waterbury Police helped Guilford Police track the cars and got a picture of one of the suspects.
Police have been urging residents to lock their cars and take the valuables with them into the house, but according to police, it’s not enough to stop thefts. Police said the best defense against attempted stealing is to lock up your cars and your houses.
“Our message to people is stay safe, be smart and the bottom line is lock your car. Lock your doors in your house. Leave your lights on and if you see something say something. Call us,” said Chief Hyatt.
When people see the signs at the entrance to Uncas Circle which say ‘private drive,’ ‘keep out,’ and ‘dead end’ they often just don’t even go down the road and the people living there may feel very safe.
Some don’t always lock their cars or their doors. But now that could change.
“I was already getting there anyway and I didn’t even know that this happened,” said the man who lives on the street. “Now that it [has] happened, of course you got to be safer.”
This is an ongoing investigation. Police ask residents to call Guilford Police if they see or hear something suspicious.
“You see somebody walking around your yard at 3:30 in the morning, make the phone call,” said the police chief. “Let us figure out who it is. You could be preventing a crime.”
He says never confront a thief because like one who entered an open garage in Middletown in March — he or she may be armed and even more dangerous.
“Secure yourself, call 911, let us come down and handle it,” Chief Hyatt said.