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Man Suspected In Wilton Burglaries In Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Fairfield resident Robert Smith, 22, was charged Friday in 16 robberies after Hurricane Sandy.
Fairfield resident Robert Smith, 22, was charged Friday in 16 robberies after Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A 22-year-old Fairfield native was charged in court Friday in connection with 16 Fairfield burglaries and others in Greenwich, Wilton and Redding during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last year, police said.

The investigation into Robert Smith began Nov. 1, 2012, after the alarm at Patriot National Bank on Black Rock Turnpike went off at 4:42 a.m., police said.

According to the police report, the windows at the front door and office window were broken, causing $800 in damages. The building's electricity was off because of Hurricane Sandy, and the alarm was activated by the battery backup, police said. Officers found handprints on the window where the would-be burglar had tried to push the office window open, police said.

On Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, 2012, a total of 16 commercial burglaries took place in the same way, police said. Other businesses burglarized included the Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course where money was taken from the golf pro shop, Vazzy's Restaurant, Andros Diner, Brooklawn Country Club, the Greenfield Hill Service Station, Creative Co., Greenfield Hill Dog Grooming, Greenfield Hill Liquor and the Greenfield Hill Garden Center, police said.

On Nov. 16, 2012, police in Rye, N.Y., arrested Smith in similar crimes, police said. Officers determined that Smith and an accomplice yet to be arrested were involved with numerous crimes in Rye as well as in Greenwich, Wilton and Redding, police said.

In total, Smith was charged with two counts of second-degree failure to appear, two counts of first-degree failure to appear, 13 counts of third-degree burglary, 16 counts of third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary, three counts of third-degree criminal attempt to commit burglary, 16 counts of possession of burglars tools, five counts of third-degree criminal mischief, four counts of second-degree criminal mischief, two counts of fourth-degree larceny, two counts of fifth-degree larceny, third-degree larceny and three counts of sixth-degree larceny.

Smith was arraigned on all those charges in court on Friday, Nov. 13. No information was available on the court appearance. On one failure to appear charge, he was given $50,000 bond. No other bond amount was given by police.

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