Police continue to investigate stolen cars, swastikas

Two swastikas were found at Ridgefield's Masonic Lodge back in January. — Peter Yankowski photo
Two swastikas were found at Ridgefield's Masonic Lodge back in January. — Peter Yankowski photo

Ridgefield detectives are still investigating a spate of stolen cars and vehicle burglaries that have plagued Ridgefield for the past two years.

Maj. Steve Brown of the Ridgefield Police Department said that detectives are consulting with police in the “many other towns” experiencing car thefts.

Police believe the thefts are the work of thieves based out of the Waterbury area.

Brown said that whenever other departments make an arrest in a stolen car case, the town’s detectives will often try to find any physical evidence linking the suspect to thefts in Ridgefield. They also interview the suspect to look for any links.

Cars stolen from Ridgefield that are recovered by police are processed for fingerprints and any other evidence.

Brown said that effort has not yet resulted in any arrests.

“The vehicles tend to be used in other crimes and then abandoned,” Brown said, adding that the most common crime is using stolen credit cards to make purchases.

“They’ll do it very quickly and then dump everything and move on,” he said.

The cars are occasionally vandalized when they are abandoned.

Most of the people who have been arrested in cases of stolen cars are typically young, many of them minors, he added.

He admitted that could be a purposeful tactic by the thieves, since juvenile offenses typically carry lighter sentences than crimes committed by adults.

“The scary thing is some of the suspects have engaged other departments in pursuits,” Brown said. “That gets risky.”

Ridgefield officers are generally allowed to pursue if they believe the suspect might present a greater danger if they escape, Brown said. “Officers have to weigh the danger to everyone involved,” he said “and make really quick decisions about whether or not to pursue.”


The police are also still investigating at least one of the multiple incidents of swastika vandalism around town.

For the past two years, swastikas have been found painted, drawn, and carved in various places around town — including the fence and stage at Ballard Park, picnic tables at Ballard Green, and on the entrance signs at the Aldrich Museum and Masonic Lodge on Main Street.

Brown said the police have an open investigation on at least one of the incidents.

“Some of them seem to be separate incidents,” Brown told The Press. “We’re bothered by it and we certainly want it to stop.”

Anyone with information about either investigation should call the department’s headquarters at 203-438-6531, or the anonymous tip line at 203-431-2345.