Police are increasing their presence along Greenwich Avenue after a spate of recent store robberies

GREENWICH – Local police have added additional staff and patrols to the Greenwich Avenue corridor after a number of recent surprising cases of theft.

On Saturday afternoon, a woman stole handbags from a store in central Greenwich, and she and a passerby were hit by a runaway car, police said. The suspects in this case were still wanted by the police.

And the previous Saturday, two suspected thieves were charged with stealing nearly $30,000 worth of merchandise from a store on Greenwich Avenue, which was recovered.

More officers are working in the retail hallway following the recent spate of robberies, Police Captain Mark Zuccerella said Monday.

“We have had an increased presence in the central business district for some time due to increased thefts from stores. I don’t want to get into our strategies, but it involves marked units and undercover units” , Zuccerella said in an email.

The anti-theft unit that works in the city center has gone the extra mile with traders in the area, the police captain said.

“Our retail organized crime reduction unit works with many stores, communicating current criminal activity and trends in the surrounding area, as well as helping to mitigate theft,” he continued. .

The theft of expensive handbags and other consumer goods is a recurring problem in high-end stores across the country, according to police.

On June 18, Greenwich police said they apprehended two New Yorkers suspected of stealing nearly $30,000 worth of handbags, eyewear and jewelry from an unidentified store on Greenwich Avenue, recovering the stolen merchandise , according to the arrest report.

A woman created a diversion, according to the arrest report, “to draw store staff away from her co-conspirator.” The two suspected thieves fled the store on foot, police said, and were apprehended after a short chase.

The stolen items – with a total value of $27,915 – have been recovered, police said.

Sheila Draine-Johnson, 53, of 13th Avenue, Mount Vernon, and Damon Smith, 49, of East 4th Street, Mount Vernon, have each been charged with four felonies: first-degree robbery; retail theft of $10,000 or more; conspiracy to commit organized retail theft; and conspiracy to commit theft, police said.

Police say a third suspect in a blue Honda Civic with Connecticut plates escaped.

In the June 25 incident, police say a woman attempting to steal handbags from a Mason Street store was “interrupted by several bystanders” and fled the store, police said . A dark-colored SUV hit her and a passerby, the driver showed a gun, then the car took off with the woman and the driver, police said.

The theft of high-end handbags and other consumer goods is a constant trend in stores across the country, facilitated by resale on Internet sites.

A number of city center banks have also been targeted by financial scammers using forged and stolen documents to steal money from the bank accounts of unsuspecting customers in recent months.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call 203-622-8004 or contact Greenwich’s confidential information line at 203-622-3333 or [email protected].