Monday, November 30, 2020

Local News

Clinton Chief Calls for Vigilance Fighting Vehicle Break-Ins

In recent weeks, Clinton and surrounding shoreline towns have faced an uptick of car break-ins and car thefts. While residents are fearful and frustrated, police say they are limited in what they can do to stop the perpetrators.

In Clinton alone, there have been 140 car break-ins and 17 vehicle thefts since Jan. 1, 2020.

“And our numbers are actually better than other towns,” said Clinton Chief of Police Vincent DeMaio.

DeMaio said that in Clinton there’s no one area that is being targeted more than others in town and he urged citizens to be vigilant. The chief said that the break-ins have been what he termed “soft break ins” where the perpetrators are not breaking windows, but are mostly coming to town in the early morning hours and testing the doors on cars they find. If they find one that is unlocked, they will raid the car for valuables or in some cases steal the car.

DeMaio said the best way to combat the problem is for residents to make sure their cars are locked at night and, if they see something suspicious, to report it to the police. DeMaio asked that citizens avoid confronting anyone themselves and instead call the police to handle the situation.

“If you wake up at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. and the dog is barking at something, go check it out and give us a call,” DeMaio said.

While it’s important to secure valuables and a way to prevent the break-ins from happening, DeMaio said he gets bothered when he hears people simply repeat, “Well, make sure your car is locked.” DeMaio said that to him, that is putting the blame on the people who are victims of the crimes.

“Let’s put the responsibility on the people who are stealing from people,” DeMaio said.

Eric O’Connell covers news for Clinton for Zip06. Email Eric at

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