Thieves took in more than $7,500 in property including phones, cash, and electronics in a spree of 18 unlocked cars on New Norwalk Road, Brinckerhoff Avenue, Mortimer Street and other roads in a single night.

Seven of the break-ins occurred on River Street during the spree overnight Tuesday, July 7, into the next morning, DeMaio said.

“This is a bad situation because our residents should be able to feel secure and safe,” New Canaan Police Capt. Vincent DeMaio said Monday afternoon.

Police expect to arrest a Waterbury man who was arrested in that city July 8 for stealing a 2006 Toyota Range Rover from a home on Ponus Ridge as part of the spree. Kenneth Hoffler, 19, of Waterbury, was arrested in a grocery store parking lot in that city after an officer spotted the plate on the Range Rover as matching one stolen in New Canaan, according to police.

Police processed a half dozen other vehicles hit by the thieves to gather DNA, which was sent to the Connecticut State Police Crime Lab in Meriden in hopes of getting a hit, DeMaio said.

Police are also investigating two additional driveway car break-ins which appear unrelated to the spree because the thieves smashed windows to grab valuables, DeMaio said. Those occurred overnight July 8 into July 9 at homes on Carter Street and Canoe Hill Road, DeMaio said.

New Canaan residents should always lock their vehicles to deter thieves, and remove valuables from their cars, DeMaio said. If removing valuables is not possible, owners should lock property in their trunks, DeMaio said.

“When you park your car overnight take your valuables inside and it is always a good idea to park in a well-lit area,” DeMaio said. “These are common-sense steps to avoid being a victim.”