Watertown PD seeking public’s help identifying individuals seen breaking into garages, cars


WATERTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police in Watertown are searching for a group of burglary suspects who are accused of walking into open garages Wednesday night and rummaging through cars.

Watertown police said it happened four times in one night. Some of the incidents were caught on residents’ surveillance cameras.

Now, police are warning residents to be alert when getting out of their cars and opening their garage doors.

“We’re really trying to educate the public not to become a victim. The vast amount of crimes are crimes of opportunity where vehicles are either left running or they are unlocked with the keys left in the car and especially with key fobs now the keys don’t even have to be hidden, they just have to push the button. We’re not victim-blaming here, but there’s a very easy way to become a victim,” said Chief Joshua Bernegger, Watertown Police Department.

Police said they have several reports of three or four people going into open garages then trying to gain access to cars in the areas of Middlebury Road, Kimberly Lane, and Sylvan Lake Park.

“Similar to other communities, Watertown has been experiencing sporadic episodes of criminals patrolling neighborhoods in the Watertown, Oakville areas and just looking for easy targets. Any vehicle left running, any vehicles left unlocked, any vehicles with valuables that are in plain view,” Chief Bernegger said.

So far, there are no arrests, but the incidents are on top of the agenda at Thursday afternoon’s roll call. Police are stepping up patrols.

Watertown residents are expressing concern.

“They don’t care if there are lights on in the neighborhood, lights on in your driveway, they’ll still come up and try to break into your car,” said a man who did not want to be identified but said it happened to his neighbor. “It’s not fair to them, they have to live in fear.”

Chief Bernegger told News 8 that no one has been hurt in any of the cases and no cars were stolen Wednesday night, but he said, “these criminals have become much more brazen.”

Police are also asking anyone who has surveillance footage in the area to send it to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Watertown Police Department at 860-945-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 860-945-9940. There will be an anonymous cash reward.

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