Survey: Shelton remains one of Connecticut’s safest cities

SHELTON — Motor vehicle thefts dropped slightly in 2021, but thefts from vehicles, including parts such as catalytic converters, rose, according to statistics on the police department’s website.

Overall, Shelton police filed 1091 reports in 2021, more than 200 less than the 1,313 filed in 2020. While the total number of incidents cleared by arrest also dropped — 278 in 2021 compared with 262 the previous year — the overall percentage cleared rose.

Shelton continues to be recognized as one of the state’s safest cities, placing No. 9 overall in the latest analysis by Safewise, a home security analysis company.

“Shelton remains in the top 10 for safest cities in Connecticut. We are proud of that accomplishment and the officers are doing an excellent job in crime prevention,” Chief Shawn Sequeira said. “In comparison to other towns and cities who face our same challenges, we are doing well.”

Safewise reviewed 2021FBI crime report statistics — the most recent complete report available at the time of ranking — and population data in making its final determinations.

To view the entire analysis, visit safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-connecticut.

“We continuously evaluate our departmental performance as required through accreditation and look for ways to improve,” Sequeira said. “We believe in basic strategic planning for policing such as visibility and omnipresence as the best practice to deter crime.”

“We are currently still facing the challenges of stolen motor vehicles and stolen catalytic converters,” the chief added. “Other than that the decrease in crime remains about the same.”

Of the 148 reported incidents through the first two months of this year, statistics show 16 reports of theft from a motor vehicle, 15 simple assaults, 14 disorderly conduct incidents, 10 burglaries, nine motor vehicle thefts and six thefts from a motor vehicle.

Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said the crime statistics remain stable with drops in many significant categories — which he says is demonstrated in the city’s annual ranking as one of the safest cities in Connecticut.

Kozlowsky said thefts from inside vehicles, vehicle parts, such as catalytic converters, and stolen vehicles — a nationwide issue, according to the lieutenant — remain a major concern.

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

Kozlowsky praised the department’s crime prevention program and social media presence for informing residents on tips to protect their vehicles, such as locking doors and removing valuables. The department is also participating in the Ring Neighbors app.

To better fight crime in the city, Kozlowsky said the department, which now stands at 53 officers, launched the crime prevention program and increased patrols in the downtown.

“Overall, the department has done a good job of creating more of a presence in the downtown,” Kozlowsky said. “Our officers are out there, walking throughout the downtown, speaking with business owners, creating a feeling of security.”

Despite the overall drop in crime, there were some increases, including thefts from motor vehicles — 89 in 2021 versus 87 in 2020; disorderly conduct — 112 in 2021, compared with 106 in 2020; aggravated assault — six in 2021 against two in 2020; credit card fraud — 35 in 2021 versus 24 in 2020; identity theft — 16 in 2021 compared to 10 last year; and vandalism — 72 in 2021, 64 in 2020.

Police investigated one murder in 2021, as well as three reports of rape, up one from the previous year.

Robberies remained constant, with nine in 2021 and 2020. Simple assault dropped — 57 in 2021, 60 in 2020 — and drug crimes dipped — 28 in 2021, 41 in 2020.

Drops in reports were also seen in burglaries — from 73 to 59; motor vehicle theft — 74 to 64; driving under the influence — 29 to 13; and shoplifting — 58 to 52.

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

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com