A man who said he was a partner of Dwayne A. Wilkinson as the pair committed almost two dozen motor vehicle burglaries in Darien back in 2009, said the duo came to Darien to "steal stuff to make money," according to an arrest warrant application.
The man, Hugh Brown of White Plains, NY, was 26 or 27 years old when he told police he helped burglarize the cars, according to the arrest warrant application for Wilkinson.
That warrant application, filled out in October 2009 and approved by a judge on Oct. 16, 2009, gave the following account of the crimes and the police investigation into them (all of the description of committing the burglaries came from Brown, according to police):
The two drove into Darien looking for "quiet residential areas," Brown said. They appear to have committed car burglaries before, because Brown told police they would come to Connecticut typically at around midnight and leave by 4 a.m.
They would try the doors on motor vehicles and steal what they could from the unlocked ones, Brown said. Police described the haul as consisting of some cash, but numerous cell phones, Apple iPods, some expensive sunglasses and Garmin GPS units, used for driving directions.
Sometimes a laptop would be taken. Sometimes only loose change. In some cases, victims reported that they knew of nothing that was stolen.
Police: They were caught on video
Here's a list of streets where the victims had parked their cars: Ridgely Street, Oak Park Avenue, Hobart Street, William Street, Hilton Street, Chestnut Street, Edgewood Road, Pershing Street and Fairfield Avenue.
Brown said that Wilkinson would return to the car with electronic devices, which Brown thought Wilkinson would later sell on the street. Brown said he himself would take only money and credit cards, then use the credit cards immediately, usually buying gas or food with them.
In one transaction, Brown was caught on video buying something with one of the stolen credit cards from Darien.
Darien police detective Mark Cappelli, who applied for the arrest warrant, didn't explain just how he obtained the video, how he got the description of the car, or exactly how he got the car's license plate.
Working with New York State police
Cappelli became aware of a bulletin sent out by New York State police about people using a credit card stolen in a car burglary to get gas and buy food at a McDonald's restaurant. The car used by those burglars matched the description Cappelli already had of the car used in Darien.
Within 32 days of the burglaries, on Sept. 14, 2009, Cappelli and a New York State police investigator, Sean Morgan, who was also looking into car burglaries, interviewed the man to whom the car, a 2007 Dodge Caliber, was registered.
What Anthony Archibald said
That man, Anthony Archibald of White Plains, was due to have a meeting with his parole officer in Mount Vernon, NY, so on that day Cappelli and Morgan interviewed him.
Archibald told police that his own drivers license was suspended, and that although the car was still registered in his name and he was still making payments on it, he had sold it to a friend, Brown of White Plains, back in May 2009.
Cappelli and Morgan showed Archibald the video, and he recognized his friend Brown in it. Archibald also recognized the picture of a suspect in the New York State police bulletin and identified that man as Dwayne Wilkinson, also of White Plains.
Archibald said he was surprised to see his friend, Brown, accused of participating in thefts from motor vehicles, but it didn't surprise him to see Wilkinson as a suspect.
Brown to police headquarters
Police then asked Brown to come to Darien Police Headquarters to be interviewed. Brown agreed and visited the station on Sept. 18, where he confessed to committing the burglaries with Wilkinson.
Brown was arrested on Nov. 5, 2009. On June 11, 2010, he was sentenced in state Superior Court in Stamford to five years in jail, execution suspended after one year, on a single count of third-degree burglary, a felony.
Three more years passed before Brown's alleged accomplice, now 30, of White Plains was also charged. Wilkinson was in federal prison in Ashland, PA on unrelated charges until Nov. 28, when Darien police took custody of him and processed his arrest for the burglary charges.
Police have said Wilkinson also confessed to committing the burglaries.
Wilkinson was charged with 22 counts of third-degree burglary, four counts of fourth-degree larceny, two counts of fifth-degree larceny and six counts of sixth-degree larceny. He was taken to court for arraignment on Nov. 28, where his bond was set at $20,000. He remains in a state jail in Bridgeport, awaiting his next Stamford court appearance on Dec. 10.
Asked how the pair would avoid getting lost in quiet residential areas in Darien late at night, Brown said he used a GPS unit. Asked if it was stolen, he replied that it was. In fact, he had it in his car when he drove to the Darien police station and confessed. Police said it had been taken from a burglarized vehicle in North Castle, NY.