BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–As the weather gets warmer, there is generally an uptick in the number of car break-ins. While criminals strike mostly on weekends, they can happen at anytime and anywhere, including towns like Branford.
In one neighborhood in Branford this past February, 13 cars were broken into. All were unlocked. Two cars were stolen, one with the keys inside.
“We put extra lights outside the house, stay up late and stuff like that, and constantly watch out the window,” said Lou Garugilo, whose son’s car was targeted.
The rash of break-ins was quickly recorded.
Then, nearby residents were warned by Capt. Geoffrey Morgan of Branford Police.
“If you don’t have a partnership with the community, you’ll be chasing these things all day long because you can’t predict them,” Morgan said.
The department, Morgan said, adheres to the idea that preventing crime, especially quality of life crime, is a better use of resources than investigating it.
In fact, it’s one of a few departments with a database of localized DNA, collecting the DNA of known and repeat local offenders.
“There’s got to be some sort of trigger in your brain that says, wow, the last thing I want to do is to come back up here and commit a crime because they already have my DNA,” Morgan said. “So why don’t I just go to another community where they don’t have it.”
Already this year, there have been 84 thefts from cars with money and credit/debit cards at the top of the list.
But a dramatic decrease can happen, Capt. Morgan said, if people would just lock their cars and bring in valuable items.