Imagine finding out by word of mouth that an armed robbery just occurred within 200 yards of your home.

You rush inside your house, lock your doors and instinctively call 911 to see what you should do next, right?

If you are Fairfield beach resident, you may be better off handling safety measures yourself.  And do not bother checking your school email because Fairfield will not send out an instant alert email until almost 12 hours after you are in danger.

Police response to recent break-ins on Fairfield Beach, specifically Lantern Point and the widely publicized armed robbery on Reef Rd. have been insufficient.

Break-ins continue to happen despite heightened safety measures by homeowners. When contacted, Fairfield Police report that they “do not have the manpower” to contain the recent robberies.

The reality of the situation is that Fairfield students living on the beach have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to securing their homes against intruders.

By examining what has already taken place and how local officials have reacted, it seems in the best interest of students to learn how to protect themselves, because Fairfield police cannot handle the pressure and the University is out of touch with off-campus boarders.

 

Thanksgiving Robberies

The break-ins at Fairfield Beach began this year with my house, which was robbed Friday, Nov. 18 while my roommates were at Powderpuff football practice.

The intruder entered through a window on our porch and escaped with two laptops and a pocketbook.  For us, it was a very scary feeling to have a stranger inside our home, especially since The Point usually feels very safe.

Over Thanksgiving break, two beachfront Lantern Point homes were broken into – this time with a more forced entry. The incidences included the breaking of doors and locks, as well theft of televisions, printers and other items left behind by students on break.

 

#Occupied Break-Ins

All seemed secure in the beach area until last Wednesday, Dec.7 when two male robbers tied up and beat a beach home’s occupant, a 22-year-old Sacred Heart University student, according to a police report released to the Connecticut Post.

About an hour later, another home on Lantern Point was broken into while several of the female occupants were home in an upstairs room at the time.

They knew that someone was inside their home and later discovered that several laptops were stolen.

Kaitlyn Moran ‘12, a resident of the Lantern Point home, was outraged at the way police treated both her and her roommates following the break-in.

She stated that the responding police, only several hours after the violent situation on Reef Road, “didn’t seem worried at all about a few laptops stolen and refused to check any of the rooms or closets to verify that the intruder had left the premises.”

Moran and her roommates were shocked that while police documented up to 20 officers in the Lantern Point area on the night of the 7th, not one prevented the breaking and entering that occurred in her beachfront home.

Her anger and frustration echoed what many beach dwellers are feeling, stating that almost a week after the third wave of break-ins, “Police still haven’t increased security because every night I have walked back to my house, there are no cops around and no security guard at the front of the Point,” she said. “How they are preventing it from happening a fourth time or before someone really gets hurt?”

Seemingly, the police have not stepped up to prevent more robberies and only time will tell if their “prevention tactics” are working.

Fairfield Police do not believe that the two incidents were related, according to police reports. However, it is important to note that the break-ins that took place on Dec. 7 were while occupants were clearly home., a big difference from Thanksgiving robberies.

 

Looking Forward

Because of the continued break-ins in the beach area, off-campus residents expressed fear and frustrations.

As a personal victim of the robberies, I was extremely anxious after the violent Reef Road break in and  called Fairfield police department the night of the December 7th see what they were doing to prevent another Point robbery.

I was nearly in tears when I called and hoped for a calming, controlled voice from the police department but got no such reassurance.  The detective that I spoke with told me that, “If someone wants to rob your house, they will find a way to get in” and stressed that “the Fairfield PD lacks the manpower to have an officer on the Point at all times.”

Senior KC Boyd also stated that she and her roommates have airhorns throughout their home to warn others in the house of an intruder.

Her housemates Jess Parlon and Lindsey Walsh also purchased pepper spray in the event of a break in while they are home.

Seemingly, beach residents are on their own when it comes to personal safety.  I think that it is also scary that students were not notified via Fairfield email that there was danger in the area.  We only found out about the Reef Road robbery via word of mouth.

The best thing as we approach winter break is to do is to secure doors and windows – even those in the upstairs rooms – and talk to landlords about additional alarm and motion sensor features.

The Fairfield police might not be stepping up, but that is no excuse to leave yourself unarmed against robbers.

If you see something or someone suspicious, call 911. From experience, police dispatchers are more responsive to immediate need than preventative measures.

 

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