Updated 12:20 p.m. Monday
A 49-year-old Stratford man has been charged with criminal mischief for his suspected part in a string of about 45 car vandalism incidents since Oct. 2.
Michael Andrukevich, of 29 Richard Circle, became a suspect in the case following a surveillance operation on Oct. 7, according to police reports.
Reports said Andrukevich left his residence in a black moped at 8:10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, and shortly after was seen coming from the direction of freshly vandalized vehicles on Fernwood Drive, Lambert Drive and Quail Street.
In most of the vandalism cases since Oct. 2, the substance reported to be thrown on the vehicles was a blue corrosive that ate at the paint to the bare metal of the body, reports said.
Police said when they approached Andrukevich Sunday, he had the “distinct odor of a caustic substance” that “smelled like paint stripper.” One report said the moped was splashed with the substance, causing erosion to the body.
Police interviewed Andrukevich’s mother who said her son had been staying in her garage at 29 Richard Circle, reports said. The mother reportedly allowed police to search the garage, and the following inspection allegedly found “two large cans of paint stripper in plain view” on the floor, one of which had a label that said “the chemical turns blue when it is applied to paint,” according to reports.
Stratford police charged Andrukevich with spraying the corrosive substance believed to be paint thinner on four cars. He was charged with four counts of first-degree criminal mischief.
As of noon Monday, Andrukevich was being held on $25,000 bond. He has a court date of Oct. 19.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.
The original story follows:
The vehicles of five Matthew Drive residents were tagged with a corrosive substance Wednesday night that caused parts of the exterior to dissolve to bare metal, according to police reports.
Reports said the incidents are believed to have occurred between 7:45 and 8:15 p.m.
All of the vehicles damaged were reported to be parked on the street. Matthew Drive is off of Mill River Drive, which connects to Main Street near the Mill River Country Club (see map).
Residents were not able to give police any leads as to a possible suspect or suspects, reports said. One Matthew Drive resident said "he did not hear anything or see anything," reports said.
Police said the corrosive substance was blue in color and foam-like.
Another car parked on Elizabeth Terrace, a nearby side street, was hit by the corrosive as well, police said.
If you have any information on the incidents, call Stratford police at 203.385.4100.
Questions about this police report may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.