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Waterford — Police from Waterford and several surrounding towns are investigating an ongoing string of burglaries in which thieves have targeted jewelry.
Waterford Police Lt. Brett Mahoney said Friday they are investigating multiple burglaries in the Quaker Hill section in which residents are reporting stolen jewelry. East Lyme police say they are also investigating numerous thefts of their own that are similar to the ones reported in Old Lyme, Clinton and Waterford.
Mahoney said his department has identified suspects, and he expects arrests.
Police identified the possible burglars through an interview with people charged for other crimes, Mahoney said.
"They were charged with another crime and in the course of that investigation, investigatory leads were developed that we hope will lead to a successful conclusion of an arrest via a warrant," Mahoney said.
Following a news report Friday about ATV and motorcycle thefts in Waterford, a Quaker Hill resident complained to The Day that there have been several jewelry burglaries in the area that he believed put residents even more at risk because burglars were entering homes.
Mahoney confirmed that burglaries of jewelry have been occurring. In both cases, people are at risk, he said, but the jewelry burglaries have typically been occurring during the day, when people are not at home, while the ATV and motorcycle thefts are at night, when people are being awakened and are confronting the thieves.
"It (jewelry) is not a small theft, and coming from somebody who, when I was a little kid, my mother's house was burglarized five times, I know what these people are going through," Mahoney said.
Mahoney said Waterford police do not make an announcement every time there is a crime. Posting announcements on Facebook, Twitter and other social media does help police solve crimes, but it's not a substitute for "good old-fashioned" police work, which he said occurred in the jewelry burglary cases.
"Unfortunately we have burglaries in the Town of Waterford. I advise all to keep doors locked, arm alarms, have a dog, make it difficult for a burglar to take advantage of you," he said.
Mahoney added that the police department is still working to get people's property returned to them.
Day staff writer Greg Smith contributed to this report.