Wilton first selectwoman pleads with residents to lock cars: ‘This is really serious’

Photo of J.D. Freda

WILTON — First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice says it’s time to crack down on car thefts and asks residents to not take the threat lightly.

Her message comes following the recent arrest of two adults and two minors, who are accused of stealing a vehicle from north Wilton earlier this year, according to police.

Vanderslice said one of the individuals, Giovanni Abreu, 18, has already been arrested for alleged involvement in a similar incident in March in Westport where a car theft “ended up with a 64-year-old woman having head trauma.” Police said a firearm was found inside the stolen Westport car when it was recovered.

Keisean Dwayne Chavis, 20, of New Haven, was the other adult named in the Wilton arrest for the incident earlier this year. He was accused of stealing a vehicle in neighboring New Canaan and arrested earlier this year as well.

“This is really serious,” Vanderslice said. “The folks that are doing this, they are often repeat offenders.”

According to the Wilton Police Department’s annual report, released this month, there were 14 stolen vehicles in town last year. This is double 2020’s total when seven vehicles were stolen.

According to police, many stolen vehicles are often left unlocked and with keys inside.

Vanderslice said that the town has faced increases in car theft before and has banded together to slow the efforts of thieves.

“I know that we were successful in 2018-19 in reducing these with people locking their cars,” Vanderslice said.

In 2019, the town went six months without an incident, she said. The key, unsurprisingly, was that she saw more of an effort by residents to lock their cars and bring their keys and key fobs inside.

She said that there has been some pushback on the idea that she or other town officials have been blaming the victim.

“I’m not blaming anybody, I’m just stating the facts that this is happening and, when the people get arrested, this is what they’re finding and I think we just want it to stop in our town,” she added. “That’s my message: Everybody be aware, let’s lock these vehicles and keep our community safe.”