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Two Men Arrested in Connection with Recent Burglary Spree

License plate readers proved useful in finding the burglars responsible for a recent series of thefts from unlocked motor vehicles, garages and homes in Darien, police said as they announced the arrest of two men.

Darien police charged a Bridgeport and a Trumbull man on Wednesday and Thursday in connection with the sudden rash of vehicle and home burglaries that swept through town in recent weeks.

Arrested were:

  • Nelson Emilio Rivera, age 24, of Trumbull, who turned himself in to Darien police on Wednesday in response to the warrant for his arrest. He was held on $50,000 bond before he was arraigned in state Superior Court in Stamford. Rivera was charged with one count each of second- and third- degree burglary and two counts each of credit card theft and illegal use of a credit card.
  • Livelle Sampson age 21, a resident of a home at 52 Rock Ridge Cir. in Bridgeport after a search and seizure warrant was issued allowing Darien police inside the home. Sampson was charged with one count of second-degree burglary. As of Thursday evening, Sampson was being held on $50,000 bond.

A news release emailed at 11:25 p.m. Thursday from police Sgt. Jeremiah P. Marron Jr. gives a vague account of the investigation, leaving it unclear how police came to arrest the two men. The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

At some stage of the investigation, a license plate reader was used. According to Thursday's news release: "Intelligence needed to determine the identity of the suspects in these incidents was obtained from a License Plate Reader (LPR) that was mounted on the exterior of a marked Darien Police Patrol car. 

"License Plate readers automatically scan hundreds of vehicles a day in the Town of Darien.  The suspect vehicle used to commit these crimes had driven past the patrol car on the night the incidents took place.  The LPR automatically scanned the registration plate and the data was later downloaded as part of the investigation."

Darien police have had license plate readers for the past three years, the news release noted.

Marron's Thursday news release and a previous news release gave this information:

  • Last week, Darien police searched a motor vehicle and found some possessions stolen from the recent Darien burglaries. (Police haven't said why that motor vehicle was searched.) Police also found items taken during burglaries of motor vehicles in Cheshire, North Haven, Meriden, and from a residential burglary in Wilton.
  • On Tuesday, more Darien possessions from the same rash of burglaries were found during the search of a home in Trumbull, along with some items stolen in Trumbull burglaries.
  • Police on Tuesday said they had issued an arrest warrant for a person living at the home. The description of that warrant matches the charges against Rivera.
  • On Wednesday, Rivera of Trumbull turned himself in. His initial bond was $50,000. At some point on Wednesday or Thursday he was arraigned in state Superior Court in Stamford.
  • Also on Wednesday, Darien police, with the assistance of police from Wilton, Trumbull and Bridgeport, searched the Rock Ridge Circle home of Livelle Sampson in Bridgeport. They found "numerous suspected stolen items including a shotgun and a .25 caliber automatic handgun." They arrested Sampson, but didn't say whether or not he was arraigned in court.

In the recent spate of burglaries, the first set occurred on Friday and Saturday, June 1 to 2, when at least nine motor vehicles on streets off of Brookside Road, on the east side of town, were hit.

Then, on Sunday and Monday, June 17 to 18, about double that number were entered, along with homes—in every case, burglars went through unlocked doors.

Editor's note: This article originally was published on Friday. The time stamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch. Darien Patch previously published these articles about the recent epidemic of burglaries in town:

  • (Wednesday)
  • (Monday)
  • (June 19)
  • (June 11)
  • (June 5)
David Gurliacci July 02, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Bryan, you know my name—what's yours? Are you a Darien police officer? One of your statements, ("Marron was working the evening shift and he is very busy maning the communication desk.") strongly hints that you are. If so, do you treat people you come across in the course of your job as a public employee with the same disrespect you've shown here? You indicate that you care about the public perception of the Darien Police Department. Do you think your statements here, combined with your indicating that you're a member of the department, help or hurt the public perception of the department? I asked you for specifics for your allegations referring to more than one article. You responded by expanding your allegations. I pointed that out that you still hadn't provided evidence, and now you've responded by expanding your allegations again, even claiming I've made "sarcastic" comments in this article, but not identifying them. You appear to be making assumptions without evidence rather than allegations backed up by it. That, together with your rudeness, means this discussion isn't becoming constructive or useful or even entertaining. Pointing out that not all information has been given out isn't a defense for the accused or an accusation or even a complaint against the police. It's a simple fact that I expect will come out later. Important, missing facts sometimes deserve to be noted. It is irrelevant that police don't have a duty to give out the information immediately.
David Gurliacci July 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM
(continued from my last comment, just above) Bryan, I kept asking you for evidence for your allegations because every assumption you've made about my attitudes is completely off base: I'm not a liberal. I'm not against the police. I'm not against Darien police, who have acted professionally (and courteously) whenever I've dealt with them. But when I cover any powerful agency, I try to do more than act like it's PR department. I'm not going to make an exception for the police. But in this article, I wasn't even referring to something that would automatically lead to criticism. You say that I should "investigate on [my] own." In a sense, you're right. I had planned to get more information on Friday to quickly supplement that report, but two things happened: I was scheduled to have lunch with someone I used to cover, and afterward I became very drowsy because I don't quite have my recently diagnosed diabetes under control yet (I probably didn't eat the right things—knowing what and how much to eat is a learning process that I've only just started; it's my fault that I wasn't more careful in the meantime). Yes, it is better to try to get answers rather than just point out a lack of information. That person I had lunch with, by the way, was the former head of investigations for an urban police department in Connecticut. I got along well with him, his predecessor and that person's predecessor. Scrutiny does not imply lack of respect.
Chris July 07, 2012 at 01:29 AM
So the Darien police use LPRs to track peoples movements in this town and keep a database of who went where and when? I'm sure there was a healthy public discussion of the privacy issues involved and I just missed it.
Bryan July 07, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Chris. I don't believe obtaining information from something displayed on the front or back of you vehicle is an invasion of your privacy.
Chris July 07, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Bryan. Clearly just looking isn't an invasion of privacy. However, the concept of the government maintaining a database of vehicle movements has troubled some people, e.g. the use of LPRs by the NYPD to record who was attending mosque services, etc. I'm not trying to start a debate in this forum, just wondering what rules our town follows regarding use of the data and who approved them. A July 2010 Patch article touted the technology. It was described at the time as a quick way to pull over people who were already wanted for crimes who might be driving through. The article said they might use it to put boots on the cars of residents who have three or more parking tickets and they would maintain the database because it might help solve crimes in the future. Now they have at least two years of data. Who gets to see it or access it? Are they sharing it with state and federal authorities? Can it be discovered in civil proceedings such as a divorce case? Is it for sale? Whatever they are doing, the taxpayers of Darien are paying for it, so if someone asked those questions and put the answers in an article it might be interesting reading. That was my point.

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