CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Thieves break into North Stamford liquor store

It happened at Wagon Wheel Fine Wines & Spirits on Long Ridge Road around 4:20 a.m. Monday.

Marissa Alter

May 30, 2023, 9:31 PM

Updated 363 days ago


Thieves struck a liquor store in North Stamford on Memorial Day in a break-in that police said could be connected to other burglaries in Fairfield County.
It happened at Wagon Wheel Fine Wines & Spirits on Long Ridge Road around 4:20 a.m. Monday. That’s when owner Paul Jordanopoulos got an alert on his phone that the alarm had been triggered.
“I got in my car and came down here and saw my front door smashed in,” Jordanopoulos told News 12. “An ocean of broken glass everywhere. The area where I keep all the half bottles of liquor, almost completely wiped out, and all of my cigarettes.” He said there was also alcohol on the ground from broken bottles.
Security cameras show the thieves arrived in a U-Haul pickup truck.
“Two to three people. We're pretty sure there was a third in the car—we’re still confirming that through the video—and they tried to pry open the front door. When that didn't work, they took a small sledgehammer and broke the glass, made entry,” Sgt. Sean Scanlan said.
In the video, the thieves drag in two garbage bins and fill them with liquor and cigarettes before running out with their haul. Jordonapolous said the bins are his and are kept on the property outside.
“It seems like they were doing it in a panic,” he explained. “They were trying to rush out of here as quickly as possible after the alarm went off.”
Jordanopoulos estimated they stole $4,000-$5,000 worth of alcohol and cigarettes and did about the same amount of damage. He also said the thieves left the sledgehammer there, which police seized.
“I thought immediately it's another case of just desperate people out there,” Jordanopoulos told News 12. “It wasn't anything that scared me or anything like that. It was just a sad situation that I had to deal with.”
On Tuesday, it was business as usual at the store. The only signs of what happened were some sparse shelves and a stray piece of glass on the counter. Jordanopolous said family helped with the cleanup effort, so he was able to still open on Monday.
Scanlan said a very similar break-in happened at the 66 gas station on Newfield Ave on May 25.
“It was about the same time frame, same M.O.—a U-Haul pickup truck. We've been on the phone with other departments throughout Connecticut. We know Stratford had one. Newtown had something very similar,” Scanlan stated.
He said police have been on the phone with U-Haul for the past few days trying to determine if the trucks were rented or stolen. A couple were taken from the Hartford area, according to Scanlan.
“We don't know if those were used or not because we have no identifying marks to match up. The plate was physically blocked and the ID number in the truck was physically blocked, as well,” he told News 12.
Jordanopoulos said he wanted to share what happened to his business to put criminals on notice.
“You're not going to stop them from wanting to do bad things but at least let them know businesses like ours that work hard for our families—that we're not going to take it,” said Jordanopoulos.
“Between our department and the other departments all working together, I’m sure in a fairly quick timeframe we'll have some suspects and work to get some arrest warrants,” Scanlan said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 203-977-4407.

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