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Thursday, February 27 News

Westport man charged with attempted engine theft

WESTPORT — A 33-year-old Westport man was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a construction vehicle engine.

On Sept. 10 at 1 a.m., an officer on routine patrol observed a person and an occupied vehicle parked at the Saugatuck Railroad Station. Both were seen in the area of several construction vehicles associated with ongoing work.

According to police, the individual had been seen sitting in the cab of a piece of construction equipment. He allegedly attempted to elude officers on foot upon being seen, but was ultimately located and identified as Justin Bitar.

Bitar did not explain the reason for being among the construction equipment and was ultimately released without charges. Later that same morning, police received a report of an attempted theft of an engine left in the Saugatuck Railroad Station parking lot.

It was reported sometime overnight that a $5,000 engine had been unbolted from a piece of construction equipment and moved 20 feet. Following an investigation, an arrest warrant was sought and granted for Bitar.

On Jan. 16, police responded to Bitar’s residence were he was taken into custody. He was charged with third-degree criminal mischief and posted $100 cash bond.

Subsequent computer checks of Bitar additionally showed he had an active warrant for failure to appear on an unrelated case. For the second warrant, Bitar was charged with second-degree failure to appear.

He was unable to post $10,000 bond and was taken to state Superior Court in Norwalk.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

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