Tonawanda News — Two men were arrested early Monday morning after allegedly stealing items from at least 25 unlocked cars in the City of Tonawanda overnight, police said.
Dakota Y. Lococo, 19, of Delaware Street, and Benjamin J. Mattucci, 32, also of Delaware Street, were arrested at 4:45 a.m. They were charged with multiple counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and a felony charge of criminal possession of stolen property/credit card.
Homeowners first saw two men entering cars at 3:15 a.m., Capt. Fredric Foels said. The pair is accused of going through cars on almost every street in the Millstream area of the city — including Penarrow Drive, Willowbend Road and Ridgedale Circle. Their backpacks were full of items when police located them near the intersection of Delaware Street and Canton Street, police said.
“Up to 30 cars in the Millstream area were entered,” Foels said. “One of the items stolen was a credit card that was in a purse in an unlocked car ... items taken included multiple GPS systems, loose change, cellphones, wiring for electronic devices. Anything that was loose in the vehicle they had in their backpacks.”
Officers spent much of the day returning the stolen items to their owners. Although 25 cars have been identified, Foels said that number will likely rise as more residents come forward. Police are asking individuals who believe their cars were entered to come to the station, located at 200 Niagara St.
“As soon as people were waking up this morning, they were going out to their vehicles and noticing that things were in disarray,” Foels said. “The doors had been left wide open and things were missing.”
Foels said that the incident should served as a reminder to residents that they should keep their vehicles locked.
“Most of the vehicles were unlocked. They weren’t wasting time trying to unlock a locked car or playing with the door handles,” Foels said. “Cars are not safe or secure unlocked in driveways.”
Lococo and Mattucci were arraigned on Monday and are being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.