On Sunday around 3:00am Greenwich Police responded to a report that suspicious people wearing hoodies and masks were entering the private residential area of Belle Haven. Police say this private residential community has been targeted by car thieves recently.
Upon arrival patrol units formed a perimeter and searched the area. Cars were observed with doors ajar and contents of glove boxes rummaged through.
One suspect was ultimately apprehended, with $96.33 of US bills and a large amount of US coins.
The suspect, identified as Peter Eichie, 20, of New Rochelle, NY, also had several items on his person including sunglasses, a phone case and a small coin purse.
He was arrested and charged with Criminal Trespass 2, Burglary 3, and Larceny 6.
He was held on $5,000 bond and has a date in Stamford Superior Court on Aug 10, 2020.
Commenting on the arrest Monday morning on WGCH, Police Chief Heavey said the arrestee had an extensive criminal history in New York state and that the foot pursuit had put his officers in dangerous circumstances.
“Some of the people he was with escaped, but we’re actively pursuing it,” Heavey added. “There were numerous cars entered in both circumstances, where people’s valuables were taken – credit cards, your identity, garage door openers. You’re just making yourself vulnerable. I don’t see why anybody would leave a valuable piece of property unsecured.”
“We invited him into our neighborhood because we are an easy mark for these individuals coming in to steal cars,” Heavey said.
Thus far in 2020 a total of 64 cars have been stolen in Greenwich.
“Not a single one of them was not unlocked and didn’t have the key or the fob in it,” Heavey said, adding that on Sunday night another car was stolen off Round Hill Rd near the Merritt Parkway.
“It’s happening in every section of town,” Heavey said. “Please lock your cars and take your keys with you. It’s a momentary inconvenience, but this costs all of us more in insurance premiums and you’re inviting bad people to come and steal cars.”
“They don’t break in,” he said. “Nobody’s tearing out the ignition and hot wiring the cars,” he added. “If we’re a hard mark they’ll go somewhere else.”
Heavey said Greenwich has been recognized as one of the safest communities in the country, but given all the stolen cars are part of the accounting, that status may erode.