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Thieves Target Cars for Their Parts in Greenwich

Four vehicles stripped of parts ranging from tail lights to the rear seat.

A 79-year-old woman moved into the Putnam Hill coop in Greenwich, CT, several years ago because of the bucolic setting ... and it wasn't far from where her husband grew up.

Flash forward 6 years since she moved into the 4-story multi building complex off Milbank Avenue that backs up to Christ Church Greenwich and Temple Sholom. That bucolic, safe image was shattered earlier this week.

The resident was one of four victims of vandalism and car theft in the Putnam Hill complex. "My car was trashed," she said, showing photos of her 2006 Infiniti that was stripped of tail lights, headlights, front bumper and rear seat. The woman and her caretaker said given the gasoline shortage caused by Hurricane Sandy, even the full tank of gasoline was siphoned from the vehicle and the fuel pump taken.

The woman learned of the theft on Monday, Nov. 5 — just days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the tri-state region.

"I always felt safe but with this violation, it gives us a different feel," she said.

Greenwich Police say they are investigating the thefts which left three other cars — Hondas and Toyotas — literally on blocks. The thieves stole the wheels and tires from three other cars, leaving them sitting on blocks, police and the resident said.

Police Chief James Heavey said a car also was stolen from the complex. Thieves apparently gained access to the cars parked in the complex's garages, by using a garage door opener that had been stolen from another resident. "Management should have changed the codes as soon as they knew" the garage door remote control was missing, the woman said.

Aside from the inconvenience, repair estimates for the resident's Infiniti total about $6,500, the woman said.

This isn't the first time car part thieves have struck in Greenwich. In February, thieves took the wheels and tires from a Range Rover and panels from an Infiniti parked in a garage of the Gables condo complex in Old Greenwich. the wheels and tires were taken from a Honda in the Gables.

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