Bridgeport man charged in attempted car break-in

Shelton Police

Shelton Police

Contributed photo

SHELTON — A Bridgeport man has been charged after being stopped allegedly attempting to break into a vehicle at a home in the area of Mill and Judson streets, police said.

Carlos Matos, 18, was charged with fourth-degree larceny, interfering with an officer and third-degree criminal attempt of burglary, Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said.

Incidents of people — mainly juveniles, according to witnesses — seen in various areas of the city and spotted near unlocked vehicles have been occurring for more than a year, Kozlowsky said, with Shelton mirroring an uptick in vehicle break-ins statewide.

So pervasive have the vehicle break-ins become, it has prompted local lawmakers to vow to push for harsher penalties for repeat juvenile offenders in hopes of quelling the increasing cases of vehicles being ransacked, burglarized or stolen throughout the city.

The Shelton Neighborhood Crime Watch Facebook page — created by city resident JD Snyder in August — contains hundreds of posts each week with security cam footage of vehicle crimes. The Shelton Police Department, as part of the department’s crime prevention program, has also created a Facebook page for residents to report the incidents.

Statistics posted on the Shelton police website show motor vehicle thefts jumped from 22 in 2019 to 74 in 2020. There has also been an increase in thefts from motor vehicles, with 62 reported in 2019 and 87 in 2020.

This arrest, Kozlowsky said, had a twist that he described as “alibis ready to go.”

Kozlowsky said officers were called to the area of Mill and Judson streets about 4:30 a.m. Saturday on a report of a male allegedly attempting to break into a vehicle that was parked in a driveway.

Kozlowsky said officers arrived in the area and located three males wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and black face masks walking in the area. The males were detained, he said, and police also located a mountain bike on the ground a few feet from where the males were stopped.

“Police reviewed the surveillance video from the house and saw one male walking into the driveway and pulling the car door handles,” Kozlowsky said. “Police were able to match the male on the video to one of the males detained based upon his pants and sneakers.”

Kozlowsky said the male identified in the video stated to police he was 16 years old.

“He handed police his phone and stated police could call his mother,” Kozlowsky said. “The contact name on the phone was ‘mom,’ however, police were able to determine that the female on the other line was not his mother.”

Kozlowsky said further investigation by police revealed that the male was 18-year-old Matos.

Matos was released on a $1,000 bond and is due in Milford Court on March 9.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com