Alert neighbor helps police stop Stratford burglary

Posted: Updated:
STRATFORD -

An alert neighbor is credited with helping police stop a burglar this afternoon.

Stratford police say it happened at a house on Columbus Avenue at 12:45 p.m. Police tell News 12 Connecticut that a neighbor who knew the homeowners weren't home noticed the front door was open and saw a stranger on the property. They called the homeowner's cousin.

The cousin called police and then drove to the house and took cellphone video of police arresting the man accused of burglarizing the house.

The video shows the man coming out of the house, with his hands up. Police can be seen putting handcuffs on him.

Police say they arrested 34-year-old Carlos Lanauze, of Bridgeport. He is charged with burglary and criminal trespass.

Donald Smart says the house has been in his family for more than 50 years. He's shocked someone entered his family's home in broad daylight.

“For this tight-knit community this was unusual and not knowing whether it was one or more individuals I reacted as quickly as I could,” he says.

“If you’re not home … even if you are, lock your doors, keep your windows locked if you have an alarm system, arm it. Use it,” says Stratford Police Capt. Frank Eannotti.

Stratford police say anyone going on vacation can request the police do a "ride check" on your vacant home. They say people can also ask a neighbor or family member to keep on eye on the home and, if possible, keep a car parked in the driveway to make it appear as if someone was home.

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