Shelton police: Car burglaries, thefts surge in 2020

Shelton Police

Shelton Police

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Motor vehicle burglaries and thefts rose sharply in 2020, while narcotics and robberies remained steady, and burglaries and identity theft dropped, according to statistics released by the city’s police department.

Overall, Shelton police filed 1,308 reports in 2020, about 200 less than the 1,571 filed in 2019. The total number of incidents cleared by arrest also dropped — 268 in 2020 compared with 340 the previous year.

“The department is constantly examining the crime statistics — types of crimes, where they are happening — and making adjustments to address those issues,” Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said.

Kozlowsky said thefts from vehicles and stolen vehicles — a statewide issue, according to the lieutenant — were a major concern in 2020.

The department stepped up patrols in those areas hardest hit, Kozlowsky said, and communicated with the public about how to best safeguard against thefts.

“The stats only say so much,” Kozlowsky said. “When you look deeper, you see that, in the case of the thefts from vehicles and even some stolen vehicles, the vehicles were left unlocked.”

Kozlowsky said the department has spearheaded a crime prevention program and social media presence as a way to inform residents and offer the community a way to reach out to the police. The department is also participating in the Ring Neighbors app.

To better fight crime in the city, Kozlowsky said the department, which reduced in size after six terminations, has added five new officers, launched the crime prevention program and increased patrols in the downtown.

“Overall, Shelton is always among the safest cities, and the police department does a good job addressing issues necessary to deter crime,” Kozlowsky added.

Among the most significant increases were seen in thefts from motor vehicles — 87 in 2020 versus 62 in 2019; motor vehicle theft — 74 in 2020, versus 22 in 2019; disorderly conduct — 106 in 2020, compared with 72 in 2019, driving under the influence — 27 in 2020 versus 18 in 2019; vandalism — 64 in 2020 compared to 53 in 2019; and burglaries — 72 in 2020 versus 61 in 2019.

Police investigated two reports of rape, down five from the previous year.

Robberies increased — nine in 2020, seven in 2019; simple assault increased — 59 in 2020, 54 in 2019 — and drug crimes rose — 44 in 2020, 40 in 2019.

Drops in reports were seen in identity theft — 10 in 2020 compared to 24 last year; aggravated assault — two in 2020 against seven last year; credit card fraud — 24 in 2020 versus 31 in 2019; and shoplifting — 58 in 2020 with 67 last year.

The crime stats are available on the police department’s website.