Police: Norwich man burglarized 20 cars, set fire to avoid capture

David R. Small
David R. Small

Norwich — A 45-year-old convicted felon is facing several new charges after he allegedly burglarized at least 20 vehicles on the west side of the city during sprees that took place in May and June.

David R. Small, of 89 Asylum St., Apt. 1, was charged Thursday on a warrant with 20 counts of third-degree burglary, 20 counts of sixth-degree larceny, three counts of criminal attempt to commit third-degree burglary and reckless burning.

According to police, officers responded to multiple vehicle burglary complaints during the overnight hours of May 24. The same thing happened again June 10, police said.

About 3:30 a.m. June 10, one resident woke up to the sound of a car door closing and observed a white man burglarizing the resident’s vehicle. The man soon fled the scene.

The resident alerted police, who sent Sgt. Nicholas Rankin and his K-9, Keeto, to begin tracking the man. During the track, Rankin discovered an active dumpster fire in the rear of Teacher’s Memorial School, which police said the man started as a diversion to avoid capture. The delay caused the track to be unsuccessful.

After that, city detectives took over the investigation and learned about 40 vehicles were involved. Using video surveillance, witness statements and various physical evidence, Detective Kevin Wilbur developed Small as a suspect. Wilbur later applied for and received a warrant for Small’s arrest.

According to police, Small has been arrested 25 times, including for other vehicle burglary sprees in the city. Records show Small has been convicted of engaging police in pursuit, third-degree burglary and six-degree larceny, among other things.

Held on a $75,000 bond, Small was due Monday in Norwich Superior Court.

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