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Westport Police ask for residents' help amid rise in carjackings, car thefts

Westport Police working to crack down on car thefts
Westport Police working to crack down on car thefts 01:59

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Westport Police are meeting with residents Wednesday night to talk about an increase in carjackings and car thefts.

Surveillance video shows a brutal attack in Westport where a man who just pulled his Aston Martin into his garage Sunday afternoon was repeatedly hit before being carjacked.

"Watching that man being assaulted was horrific," Westport resident Diane Lowman said.

"That could've been me ... I have the same car, different color," Westport resident Bruce Leavitt said.

Wednesday night, Westport Town Hall was packed with concerned community members.

"This is just, it's getting out of control," one person said.

Westport Police and neighboring law enforcement agencies tried to calm people's nerves.

"We've increased patrols on the street. We have officers assigned to the auto theft task force," Westport Police Lt. Eric Woods said.

"I live alone, and it elevated the fear from losing a car to losing your life," Lowman said.

Authorities say the thieves are using stolen vehicles from Westport to commit crimes in other areas, and now they need the community's help.

"We ask that they continue to do their part in this and lock their car doors, be cognizant of their surroundings," Woods said.

Police have now charged 39-year-old Derick McGill, of Berlin, Connecticut, after they found the BMW used in the carjacking at his home. They also charged a 16-year-old connected to the carjacking.

With these arrests, many Westport residents have their guard up.

"I'm locked up already, but that notion that if someone's following you or if you just have a bad sense, that you should be aware of that, go to the police, make a call, drive somewhere else. It's just helpful to hear that," Lowman said.

Right now, police say McGill hasn't been charged with the carjacking, but his possible role in it is being investigated.

Police are anticipating more arrests.

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