Friday, March 21, 2008

Thieves hit Quinnipiac Avenue corridor

Tools and other equipment among items targeted

By William Kaempffer
Register Staff
— Some brazen and prolific thieves have been targeting garages and sheds along the Quinnipiac Avenue corridor near Route 80, hauling off everything from garden tillers to snowblowers.
“I always figured they would have come at 4 o’clock in the morning,” said one Foxon Street resident whose three-bay garage was looted last Friday.
That was probably the most brazen of the burglaries. According to police, the thief or thieves parked a vehicle, probably a pickup truck or van, in the abutting Taco Bell lot on Route 80, took down a chain-link fence and dragged items from the garage and up a small berm. The heist happened sometime between 8 p.m. and midnight, while the restaurant was open.
According to police, since March 8, burglars have hit at least nine locations in the area since March 8. The modus operandi: break-ins involved detached garages or sheds and, based on the quantity and weight of the stolen loot, the suspects undoubtedly used some type of truck to haul it all away, police said.
No arrests have been made.
“They’ve been going for higher-priced items that they can carry out,” said Lt. Jeff Hoffman, district manager for the area, urging people to take precautions and keep on eye on their — and their neighbors’ — properties. “They’ve been prying open locked doors and windows and cleaning out the garages.”
The Foxon Street resident already contacted his alarm company to install an alarm in his garage, and planned to replace the wooden door with a metal one, but not in time to save his tiller, snowblower, chain saws, leaf blower, hedge trimmer, power washer and sockets sets that were stolen.
He isn’t even sure if that’s the entire inventory.
“You forget what you’ve got until you go and look for something,” he said, declining to give his name.
He said there is not much room in his garage, and the burglar or burglars picked up the equipment, some of which is quite heavy, and dragged it across the roof and trunk of his wife’s Honda. He said he was gone from 8 p.m. until just after midnight and his wife was out of state.
Hoffman said most of the burglaries happened north of Route 80 on upper Quinnipiac Avenue, Weybosset Street, Emily Road and Cranston Street.
The Block Watch around Foxon Street mailed out an alert that came in the mail Thursday.
The phone tree has been alive across Route 80 on Emily Road.
Anthony Serio, of 52 Emily Road, learned about the break-ins from his neighbor, Anna Simeone.
She’s the former ward co-chair and is active with the block watches.
She said she got an e-mail and call from the police department last week and picked up the phone.
“I started calling people that I know and everybody started calling everybody. That’s what you do. You’ve got to take care of your neighbors.”

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