Prosecutor: Westport carjacking suspects posed with stolen car in pictures

Digital evidence led Westport police to their most recent arrest in a violent daytime carjacking caught on camera, according to the prosecutor on the case.
Garrett Gibbs, 22, of Waterbury, was arraigned at Stamford Superior Court Tuesday, following his arrest Friday on charges of home invasion, first-degree burglary, robbery by carjacking, third-degree assault, first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and first-degree robbery. Bond was initially set at $500,000.
Gibbs is not believed to be one of the two men seen in Ring video attacking the victim in his own garage and stealing his Aston Martin on Sept. 17. Police told News 12 Gibbs was their driver and followed the victim home in a BMW stolen in Westport the day before.
“Allegations here include that the defendant was present at the scene. His phone puts him there. There's also photographs recovered that show this defendant and other defendants posing in front of the stolen car,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Moscati, adding there’s video surveillance of the defendant, as well.
Last month, police arrested Giovanni Lopez, 16, of Waterbury, on multiple charges including home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree larceny, strangulation, third-degree assault, and attempt to commit first-degree larceny. He’s charged as an adult per state statute since home invasion is a Class A felony. Police said Lopez is the person seen punching and choking the victim in the now viral video.
According to Lopez’s arrest warrant, cellphone records put him at the carjacking scene. It also said a search of his home turned up "pants, a sweatshirt, a face mask with Nike swoosh and sneakers that appeared to be an exact match to what Lopez was wearing during the incident." In addition, Lopez allegedly had cuts on his right knuckles consistent with what happened to the victim.
A search of Lopez's phone after he was arrested found more evidence against him and led police to Gibbs, according to Gibbs’ arrest warrant. It said Lopez admitted to the crime during a text conversation with someone, writing, “Bro I’m about to do time.” The warrant also stated that a print lifted from the crime scene was a match to Lopez.
According to Gibbs’ warrant, pictures from Lopez’s phone showed a group of people posing with the stolen Aston Martin. Those images were shared with the Waterbury Violent Crimes Task Force, who identified Gibbs, the warrant said.
Court records show Gibbs is currently on probation for larceny and gun convictions and has three pending cases out of Waterbury for charges of first-degree larceny, interfering with an officer, failure to appear, second-degree larceny and carrying a pistol without a permit. His warrant also lists him on Connecticut's Deadly Weapon Registry.
“The state is going to ask for an increase in the bond to $750,000 in light of the defendant's record as well as the case here,” Moscati requested in court.
“I understand the severity of the charges in this case, Your Honor. However, Mr. Gibbs has no convictions for failure to appear,” countered head public defender Jared Milbrandt. “So, while some bond may be appropriate, I'd ask for a bond in the amount of $250,000 please.”
But Judge Vikki Cooper agreed with the prosecutor. Cooper also said that if Gibbs can post bond, it must be done so at the courthouse with a hearing held before to determine nonfinancial conditions of release.
Gibbs' arraignment came the same day Lopez posted $500,000 bond. He was released on intensive probation supervision, GPS monitoring and house arrest aside from legal appointments, medical emergencies, religious services and school, which Judge Bruce Hudack said last week Lopez had to enroll in. Lopez also can’t have any devices capable of accessing the internet and has to stay off social media. Lopez briefly posted bond one week ago following a hearing before Hudack but was back in custody that afternoon after allegedly using a smartphone. On Tuesday, he got another chance.
Police told News 12 they have identified the other suspect in the carjacking video and expect to charge him soon.
Police also said they continue to work on connecting Derrick McGill, 39, of Berlin, to the Westport case. Police said a tip from a witness led them to McGill’s home where they found a chop shop with multiple stolen cars, including the Aston Martin. He’s currently charged with operating a chop shop, four counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and payment card theft. McGill allegedly had the victim’s credit card, which was in the car when it was stolen.