New Canaan police officers were recognized for their success in investigations during 2012, including the Ponus Ridge home invasion last summer and a rash of Waveny car break-ins, at the Jan. 17 Police Commission meeting.

Lt. Vincent DeMaio and Sgts. Carol Ogrinc, John DiFederico and Andrew Walsh received the Investigative Section Meritorious Police Duty Unit Award from police Chief Ed Nadriczny at the meeting.

During the Ponus Ridge home invasion in August, police said suspects tied up the homeowner and stole $11,000 worth of silverware before being scared away by the police. The homeowner reportedly felt a cold metal object on the back of his head during the robbery. New Canaan police were part of an FBI, Connecticut and New York law enforcement task force that ultimately arrested three New York residents in Harrison, N.Y., on Oct. 16.

"From New Canaan to North Castle, these alleged crooks held victims at gunpoint before tying them up in their own homes," Mary Galligan, the FBI acting assistant director-in-charge, said in October. "Armed with firearms and body armor, these men conducted thorough surveillance before violating the sanctity of victims' homes and ransacking their valuables with extreme violence. Today, their reign of terror and violence is over."

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In April, New Canaan was hit with a number of car break-ins in Waveny Park. In these and several similar events in town, the suspects would take bank account information and withdraw large sums of money, totaling more than $1 million. A team of area police agencies and the United States Secret Service led to a May 29 arrest of three suspects in Milford.

In May, the investigative unit received a tip that information was being skimmed from an ATM in town.

"On May 19, 2012, members of the investigative section conducted surveillance which resulted in the arrest of a suspect whom is thought to be part of an international identity theft/fraud ring that commits crimes throughout the United States," Nadriczny said in his award statement.

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