Group searched Internet for car break-in victims - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Group searched Internet for car break-in victims

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The following photo of Andrew Dupree was provided by the Glastonbury Police Department. The following photo of Andrew Dupree was provided by the Glastonbury Police Department.

A 20-year-old man was arrested after police said he used Google to plan out his series of car break-ins this summer.

Police said Andrew Dupree, from Holyoke, MA, was arrested in connection with a wave of summer burglaries in South Windsor, Glastonbury, Bloomfield and Vernon.

Investigators said they believe Dupree and his two other men broke into more than 500 cars in the Greater Hartford area

Police reports show Dupree would use Google Maps, and would look for homes with big roofs or homes near golf courses. Police said the suspects thought victims, who fit those descriptions, were in affluent neighborhoods.

The suspects, who were all from Massachusetts, would then drive slowly through the neighborhood they had selected and go house to house until they found unlocked cars, according to police.

When the suspects found an unlocked car, police said the suspects would rifle through the vehicle and take items in plain sight including electronics, power tools and spare change.

"My center console was open and all the stuff was taken out of it," said victim Kathleen Reamer.

Multiple police departments investigated the car break-ins. Dupree was arrested and charged with burglaries in Bloomfield and Vernon. On Wednesday, he was charged with similar crimes in Glastonbury and South Windsor. 

"I didn't realize it was this elaborate," Reamer said. "I hope they can see they did the wrong thing."

People in the neighborhoods victimized by the car-break-ins said they have become much more vigilant since the incidents.

"This neighborhood is a very close one," Reamer said. "Everyone keeps an eye on each other. After this, we were all keeping an eye on each other more."

Other towns such as Stafford and Ellington had a rash of car break-ins during this summer, so police said more charges could be added. 

Besides locking your doors, police are advising residents to always take the following precautions:

  • Never attach a tag with your name and address to a key ring. If the keys are lost or stolen, the tag will lead the thief directly to your car, and your home.
  • Avoid leaving an automobile unattended in public parking lots for an extended period of time. A car is five times more likely to be stolen from an unattended lot, than from the street or an attended lot.
  • When you park the car, remove valuable possessions from the seat. These items tempt thieves, and should be locked in the trunk.
  • If your car is stolen, notify the police immediately, and have the following information ready: your license plate number and state, the vehicle make, model, color, and year, the vehicle identification number, and also provide a list of distinctive features, and special accessories and their serial numbers.

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