Cops probe rash of car break-ins

Local police are warning residents to lock their car doors after more than 30 reports of scofflaws rummaging through vehicles were made overnight Monday into Tuesday.

“We believe it’s associated with the same group that has been here before,” said Ed Mello, chief of police.

According to Mello, police encountered suspects around 3 a.m. in the village but lost them after a brief pursuit. After looking at security footage, Mello said the suspects likely traveled south on Route 1 in a stolen car with New York license plates. He is urging all homeowners with cameras to check their footage for suspicous behavior from midnight to 3 a.m.

“We used every source we have available,” Mello said. “Now we are asking the public to check their cameras. Residents were extremely helpful the last time this happened.”

Mello said the tactic of this group, which has been traced to Connecticut in the past, is to look for car keys in affluent coastal communities, and then return to steal the vehicles.

“They get dropped off in neighborhoods, check to see which cars are unlocked, then rummage through the cars, typically looking for keys,” Mello said. “They will hold onto that key, and sometimes come back to steal the car.”

On the same day of the Jamestown incidents, Barrington police reported 50 similar crimes in its community.

“We don’t have any concrete evidence that they are connected,” Mello said, “but we’re fairly certain.”

Mello said these suspects are considered dangerous. In a similar crime spree in September 2018 when 53 cars were burglarized, and seven stolen, a suspect pointed a gun at a Jamestown police officer following a chase on Route 138.