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Career Criminal Arrested After Alert Stamford Resident Reports Van Break-In

Garth Ragsdale
Garth Ragsdale Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

STAMFORD, Conn. — A 55-year-old man with a lengthy criminal record and a van filled with allegedly stolen tools was arrested after an alert resident reported a van break-in in progress on the city's East Side, Stamford police said.

A caller at 4:24 a.m. Thursday reported he saw someone break into a van parked on William Street, police said.

Patrol officers responded and found a van with a shattered window, police said. A suspicious person was seen running through a nearby yard, police said.

But a search of the area with the assistance of a Greenwich Police K-9 turned up no suspect, police said.

Investigating officers found a cellphone beside the van that belonged to Garth Ragsdale, and a vehicle was parked nearby that police records show is used by Ragsdale, police said.

The vehicle was open and contained construction equipment and power tools, police said.

Ragsdale is a Stamford resident with a lengthy criminal record of over 35 arrests in Connecticut, police said. Officers seized the vehicle and related evidence and applied for a search warrant for the vehicle, police said.

Officers continued to search Stamford neighborhoods and known hangouts for Ragsdale, police said.

Ragsdale was located by Officer Dan Derocco and confessed during an interview with Sgt. Sean Boeger, police said.

Ragsdale, 55, with a last known address of 21 Nelson St., Stamford, was charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief. Ragsdale is on parole and was remanded back into custody as a result of this arrest.

Additional suspected stolen items that were not related to this crime were found in the vehicle, police said. Stamford Property Crime Investigators are continuing to investigate the origin of these items and additional charges are possible.

The Stamford Police Department asks residents to report all suspicious activity by calling 911 for an emergency or 203-977-4444 for routine matters.

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