NEW FAIRFIELD – An Alert Now message regarding an increase in car break-ins in New Fairfield in early July likely surprised many residents. The message was triggered by a night in which six cars were broken into on the same evening, in the same area of town. According to New Fairfield Police Officer Doug Lange, “People need to lock their cars,” as open vehicles are the key factor that is driving the increase in thefts.
The recent surge in theft of belongings from cars is not unique to New Fairfield, as other area towns have experienced the same issue. Lange described a pattern of “opportunist” thefts, with thieves who walk along an entire street checking for open cars along the way—to date, no cars have evidence of forced entry. He explained that they are looking for key fobs, as cars have been stolen, largely for the purposes of joyriding. However, in searching for the fobs, they have also found many other valuables that residents have left in their cars, including wallets, laptops, and more.
Lange stressed that residents need to be careful about where they are storing belongings, especially garage door openers that could make it easy for thieves to enter a home. He fears that we are in a time of complacency, where people are thinking of the town as the “New Fairfield of yesteryear” and believing that they do not need to actively protect their belongings. “Secure your car,” he said, going on to say “If the whole neighborhood secures their cars, the thieves won’t come back.”
By Sarah Opdahl