Suspected burglar arrested after domestic disturbance

Cary Ashby • Apr 2, 2014 at 12:12 AM

A suspected burglar was arrested Sunday after his stepfather pointed him out in connection with a later domestic disturbance.

A former West Seminary Street resident reported someone burglarized her apartment and notified the Norwalk Police Department at 2:48 p.m.

"Our victim is a female and she is 66 years old. ... She was in the process of moving out," Norwalk Police Capt. Mike Conney said.

The victim's son and another person were at the victim's apartment when they discovered someone broke into the woman's safe.

"Stuff was scattered throughout the apartment and they called police. Police arrived and the victim arrived soon thereafter," Conney said. "Nothing was missing from the safe, but the victim did recognize multiple items were missing from her apartment."

The victim reported the theft of 72 household items, which included window wipes, a caulk gun, compact discs, surge protectors, some bowls and a flashlight. The items are worth about $1,000.

After a short investigation, Joshua E. Bodnar, 23, of 64-A W. Seminary St., was arrested and charged with burglary. If convicted, he faces nine months to three years in prison.

During the investigation of the burglary, Officer Michael Biller went to an apartment adjacent to the victim's and spoke to Bodnar and several other people.

"They all said they hadn't heard anything out of the ordinary (Saturday) night," Conney said.

Bodnar reported leaving home about 11 p.m. Saturday and returned about 7 a.m.

Conney said police didn't know Bodnar was the suspected burglar at the time of the complaint, but learned about his involvement during the investigation of a domestic disturbance later in the day.

"They (officers) did talk to Bodnar and several other people earlier in the day. Mr. Bodnar said he didn't know anything about the missing items," Conney said.

At 4:05 p.m., police received the report of two suspects fighting at Bodnar's residence. Four officers responded. Police issued summons to Bodnar and his stepfather, Richard E. Couch, 55, also of 64-A W. Seminary St., on disorderly conduct by fighting and advised them of their court dates, according to the police report.

Police said the suspects reportedly "shoved handles to each other" and Couch sustained a superficial cut on his head. He declined any treatment.

Sgt. Kenneth Stiert was the first officer to respond to the disturbance. Conney said the officer found eight people outside and Bodnar and Couch appeared as if they were ready to fight.

"They were taunting each other," Conney added.

Couch is accused of grabbing a galvanized pipe about 3 feet long, put it over his head, Conney said, and charged at Bodnar while police were on the scene.

"Before he (Couch) could do anything, he was tackled (by Stiert)," Conney added.

The initial fight and argument started after Bodnar reportedly cut the lock off Couch's tool box, he said. Couch declined to pursue any charges.

While Couch was being escorted to an officer's cruiser, "he said, 'you better talk to him bout the stuff out of the victim's apartment,'" Conney said, referring to Bodnar.

Police told Bodnar his Miranda rights. Conney said the suspect didn't mention his suspected involvement in the burglary originally because he said "I didn't want to get any trouble," but also "did admit to taking things out of there."

Bodnar directed police to a man's silver van, where the victim arrived later and inspected the boxes and bags inside the vehicle. Conney said the vehicle owner didn't have any knowledge of the burglary.

"She (the victim) confirmed most of the items in the boxes were there," Conney said.

Recommended for You

    Norwalk Reflector Videos