Pair charged in Waterford car burglaries

Waterford — Police arrested two people early Thursday morning who they say are responsible for a series of car burglaries in the Butlertown Road area.

Joseph D. Sportelli, 29, of Coventry, R.I., was charged with third-degree burglary and sixth degree larceny. Over the past two years, Sportelli has two convictions in Rhode Island for breaking and entering of dwelling in which the occupant was older than 60 as well as assault and shoplifting.

Roxanne Debra Schaefer, 28, of Sebastian, Fla., was charged with third-degree burglary, sixth-degree larceny, evading responsibility, failure to have minimum insurance, possession of stolen license plates and failure to submit to fingerprints.

They were both arraigned in New London Superior Court this morning.

Police said that between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., Sportelli and Schaefer broke into cars and stole personal property and had also attempted to break into residences along Butlertown Road.

While police were collecting evidence on Butlertown Road, one of the original victims contacted the police department and told police that they believed they saw a car similar to the one related to the burglaries — a 2004 black Toyota Scion with a Rhode Island license plate— parked in a commercial lot in Old Lyme. Tire and tread impressions taken from multiple victim locations matched the car.

Police said that stolen property and other evidence pertinent to other criminal investigations was located in the car.

The investigation is ongoing and police said charges for Sportelli and Schaefer are also pending in Rhode Island.

Local police were assisted by state police, Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police, Old Lyme Police and the Warwick and Providence Rhode Island Police Departments.

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