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Wednesday, October 28 News

Police: Westport crimes rise as COVID restrictions ease

WESTPORT — As quarantine restrictions ease, police say there has been an uptick in property crimes around town.

Lt. Anthony Prezioso, a spokesman for the Westport Police Department, said over a 40-day period between late May and early June, 10 cars were stolen and another vehicle that was stolen in a different town was recovered in Westport.

That is more than triple the number of stolen vehicles —three — reported over the same period last year, Prezioso said.

“In every case, the vehicle that had been stolen was left unlocked with keys inside of it during time frames, which generally encompass the overnight hours,” Prezioso said.

Some of the stolen vehicles have been recovered in other municipalities, Prezioso said, but many still haven’t been found.

In addition to car thefts, police reported vehicle burglaries have doubled when compared to the same time last year.

“The actual numbers of these types of incidents are almost always assumed to be higher than as reported, as many do not notify police in situations where vehicles were entered but nothing of any significant value appears to have been taken,” Prezioso said.

During that same 40-day window, shoplifting incidents also saw an increase from one incident this time last year to eight incidents.

Prezioso said these stats should serve as “stark reminder” for residents to lock doors, set alarms and secure valuables.

“This is only a small sample in time of slightly longer than a month, but still merits careful consideration and attention in order to reverse this trend,” he said. “Measures are being taken by the department wherever possible to stop or slow this trend.”

Pat Tomlinson|Reporter

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