Downtown car burglar hit with more vehicle theft charges in Stamford
STAMFORD - An alleged serial car burglar taken down by an enterprising police sergeant laying in wait in a downtown parking lot in May, was charged with more car burglaries on Tuesday.
Judging by the fact there have been no more downtown car burglaries since his arrest, investigators say he may be the root of almost two dozen of their downtown car burglaries this year.
Defendant Kenneth Mikel, 54, who being held at the Bridgeport Correctional Center unable to post a $150,000 court appearance bond, was returned to Stamford where he was charged with criminal mischief, criminal trespass, two counts of third-degree burglary and two counts of larceny. Mikel, of Southwood Drive, is a convicted felon with 17 arrests on his record since 1982 and of those arrests 12 were burglary and larceny related, police said.
Mikel was apprehended on Friday, May 11 when Sgt. George Moran conducted a stakeout in the parking lot behind 595 Summer St., where a thief had been breaking into cars between 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday nights. A man, identified as Mikel by police, was seen using his cell phone flashlight to peer into cars and check several car doors to see if they were locked.
Police then began to investigate some earlier car burglaries and determined they have been on the rise, especially around fitness facilities and bars and restaurants around Broad, Bedford and Summer streets. According to Mikel’s arrest warrant vehicle owners reported 23 cars had been illegally entered in that area between Feb and may 2018.
Of those, 18 had their windows smashed out by an unknown tool and five vehicles had been left unlocked. The damage caused to vehicles by the thief cost several thousand dollars and the owners lost several thousand dollars worth of possessions during the thefts such as wallets, cell phones, lap tops, back packs, sunglasses, credit cards, personal identification and cash, the affidavit written by officer Richard Vetter said.
As Mikel was trying to escape Moran’s stakeout, police say he was seen on video entering through the rear of 444 Bedford Street and remove his sweatshirt and throw it into a dumpster. When police removed the sweatshirt they found the head of a hammer wrapped inside the shirt. He was charged with trying to break into six locked cars.
Police allege that video tape from the area and evidence found on him when he was arrested shows he burglarized three vehicles in March, April and May that he was charged with on Tuesday at the Stamford courthouse.
“That since the arrest of Kenneth Mikel on May 11, 2018, there has not been a single motor vehicle burglary at any of the sports clubs, parking lots nor has there been a motor vehicle burglary in the downtown area,” Vetter said in the affidavit.