WESTON, Conn. — The Weston police used cameras and high-tech tracking technology to solve a case of stolen cans and bottles from the Onion Barn — a crime that damaged a historic building and cost the Weston High School Boosters Club a significant amount of cash.
A number of larcenies had been reported at the Onion Barn, dating back to October, police said.
The Weston High School Boosters Club reported the thefts of bottles and cans that are collected weekly by student athletes for their 5-cent return.
The suspect was also damaging and/or removing siding on the historic structure to steal the bags of bottles and cans, police said. A hammer or other object was used to gain entry, police said.
The Weston Police Department opened an investigation with the high-tech devices. Officers observed suspicious activity via a camera at the Onion Barn on Sunday, April 9, police said.
Officers then followed a tracking device that had been placed in a bag of bottles to Westport Stop & Shop, where they found Tyler Gionis, 27, of Weston, who was arrested at the scene.
Gionis was charged with third-degree burglary, sixth-degree larceny and third-degree criminal mischief, police said. His court date is April 18.
Police are continuing to investigate and total up the losses.
From the incident on Sunday, losses were in the "hundreds of dollars," police said.
For years, student-athletes at Weston High have collected bottles and cans — and stored them in the Onion Barn. The proceeds of the 5-cent returns are used to pay for equipment, uniforms and other costs with the Weston High School sports teams.
The program promotes recycling, work ethic and giving back to the community for the students.