On August 4, detectives extradited 40-year-old Richard Ortiz from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on arrest warrants issued by Derby Superior Court. Ortiz previously resided at 33 Cedar Street, Ansonia. The warrants were related to a string of car burglaries that occurred throughout the region during the months of April through June of this year.
Ortiz and another suspect would break into cars parked by females at fitness centers and local shopping centers. The suspects would break the window of a car after the female driving parked and left their pocketbooks in the car. After stealing the pocketbooks, the thieves would take cash and credit cards from the pocketbooks. The suspects would then go to Target or WalMart stores and buy electronics using the stolen credit cards. Police identified two suspects through surveillance video from the stores.
Police from Shelton, Stratford, Derby, Milford and Trumbull cooperatively worked to solve the crimes. It is believed Ortiz and the other suspect fled the state after realizing police were on to them. Ortiz was captured in Florida after a routine car stop.
Ortiz was arrested for two Shelton incidents on the charges of two counts of third degree burglary, two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, two counts of illegal use of a credit card, fifth degree larceny and conspiracy charges. Ortiz was held over the weekend and will be arraigned in Derby Superior Court today. Other area Police Departments have approximately 12 arrest warrants for Ortiz. The State of Georgia also is looking to extradite Ortiz there for similar crimes committed after fleeing Connecticut. Police have arrest warrants for a second suspect as well. The investigation is continuing.
Police caution woman to lock their purses in the trunk of their cars prior to going to fitness centers to park. Anyone observing suspicious activity in parking lots is urged to call police immediately.