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Friday, August 22, 2014

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Man charged with car break-ins at area gyms

Published 5:32 pm, Thursday, July 10, 2014
  • Luis A. Martinez, 24, of New Haven, was arrested Wednesday and charged with car break-ins at The Edge. Photo: Contributed Photo /  Fairfield Citizen contributed

    Luis A. Martinez, 24, of New Haven, was arrested Wednesday and charged with car break-ins at The Edge.

    Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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A man police believe may belong to a ring of thieves targeting cars in area gym parking lots was arrested on a warrant Wednesday.

Luis Martinez, 24, of New Haven, was arrested after he was arraigned in Derby Superior Court on similar charges. He was charged by Fairfield police with two counts of third-degree burglary, two counts of credit card theft, two counts of illegal use of a credit card and two counts of receiving illegally obtained goods and services, along with one count of conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny.

Police said the investigation into two car break-ins and a vehicle stolen at The Edge, 500 Kings Highway East, on Jan. 16 led them to Martinez.

Credit cards taken in the car break-ins were used at the Best Buy store in Milford, an Exxon Mobil station and a McDonald's.

The stolen Honda was located that same night by New Haven police. The car had been jacked up and all four tires and rims were stolen.

In tracking the credit card use, detectives were able to review surveillance video from McDonald's, the gas station and Best Buy, where Martinez was seen purchasing an iPad mini, according to the report. Martinez was also seen on video in his own 1999 Honda Accord.

Hamden and Derby police were also investigating similar thefts from cars at health clubs, and a Derby police officer saw Martinez looking into car windows at The Edge in that city. He was taken into custody, and police said they found several stolen items in his car. Martinez allegedly admitted to Derby officers that he was part of a burglary ring.

Fairfield police, who had secured a warrant for Martinez' arrest, learned he had a Derby court appearance Wednesday. He was held at the courthouse after his arraignment and picked up by Fairfield police.

Martinez was held in Fairfield on bonds totaling $35,000 and is scheduled to appear July 16 in Bridgeport Superior Court.