With two more arrests announced today, Darien police say they've cracked open a burglary crew that committed a string of 19 Darien burglaries, mostly to vehicles, but also to houses and a garage, on the night of June 17-18.
On top of the Darien burglaries, police said they found stolen property from a slew of other cities and towns in Connecticut: Norwalk, Wilton, Westport, Trumbull, Stratford, North Haven, Cheshire, Cromwell and Meriden.
are cooperating with numerous other police departments investigating those incidents. Police in those departments may make further arrests.
With the third and fourth arrests announced today, Darien police are still looking for a fifth and final person to charge in connection with the incidents.
Police haven't solved to unlocked vehicles parked on streets near Brookside Road, weeks before the June 17-18 burglaries. Detective Mark Cappelli, a spokesman for the Darien Police Department, said the same crew is suspected of committing those burglaries, but "right now we're not stating that they're involved with those [burglaries]."
The latest two arrests occurred over the past several days:
- Joshua Rivera, 21, of 380 Churchill Rd., Trumbull, turned himself in at the Darien Police Department Monday morning in response to an arrest warrant. Joshua Rivera is a brother of Nelson Rivera, one of the first men arrested in connection with the burglary spree.
- Qu’amere Brantley, 20, of 15 Rockridge Cir., Bridgeport, turned himself in to the department on Friday. He posted a $50,000 bond and is to appear July 30 in state Superior Court in Stamford.
Each man is charged with two counts of first-degree burglary—connected with thefts from the house and garage—and 17 counts of third-degree burglary from a motor vehicle. Each also faces charges of conspiracy to commit burglary.
In addition, the in connection with the burglaries—Nelson Rivera and Livelle Sampson—each received new charges accusing them of being involved in most of the other burglaries:
- The new charges against Nelson Rivera are sixteen counts of third-degree burglary from a motor vehicle and one count of first-degree burglary, as well as conspiracy to commit burglary. Rivera posted a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear Aug. 3 in state Superior Court in Stamford.
- Sampson's new charges are 17 counts of third-degree burglary from a motor vehicle, one count of first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.
Police did not name the fifth person they say they expect to arrest.
One key element in cracking the case was information obtained from one of the department's two license plate readers (also known as LPRs) mounted on the back of Darien police patrol cars.
According to an earlier arrest warrant application, one of the suspects was caught by a store video surveillance camera getting into a silver-colored car after using a stolen credit card to buy cases of cigarettes. By comparing the car seen in the videotape with license plate records from the LPR, police were able to identify the car and then find the first of the suspects.
At the time the suspect car's license plate was read on the night of the burglaries, the car wasn't even a suspect vehicle, Cappelli said. At that point, police didn't even know the burglaries had taken place. The LPR simply recorded license plates just after the patrol car passed the vehicles.
Police later looked through data from the LPR records for the night of the June 17-18 burglaries and made the connection to the car seen on the videotape, he said.
Editor's note: Darien Patch previously published these articles about the recent epidemic of burglaries in town:
- (June 29)
- (June 26)
- (June 25)
- (June 19)
- (June 11)
- (June 5)