Weston police make arrest in Onion Barn theft using tracking device

Police arrested Weston resident Tyler Gionis, 27, on Sunday, April 9, in connection with a number of thefts committed at Weston’s historic Onion Barn in Weston Center.

Weston police placed a tracking device in a bag of empty returnable bottles at the Onion Barn. After observing suspicious activities on camera at the location, police followed the device to the Westport Stop and Shop where Gionis was arrested.

Gionis was charged with third-degree-burglary, sixth-degree-larceny and third-degree-criminal mischief.

Tyler Gionis

‘The Weston High School Boosters Club came forward reporting thefts of bottles and cans from the Onion Barn which were collected weekly by student athletes in the community,” according to a press release from the Weston Police Department.

Weston Police Sergeant Matthew Brodacki said there were multiple thefts at the Onion Barn since late December. To get into the barn, siding of the historic structure was removed or damaged.

“There were several instances of cans and bottles being stolen,” said Brodacki “I think utilizing the tracking device was a good way of using technology to help us make an arrest.”

Ira Saferstein, who runs the program for the Weston High School Boosters Club said cans were stolen from the Onion Barn “at least” four or five times.

“I would say we lost around $1,500 to $2,000 total,” said Saferstein.

The empty cans and bottles being stored in the Onion Barn were going to be cashed in to raise money for Weston High School sports teams to pay for things like sports equipment and uniforms.

According to Saferstein, a different sports team is assigned to collecting cans every Saturday morning. “The kids got up early in the cold and all of their work was stolen,” he said. “It’s kind of outrageous to me that someone would do this.”

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  • Tahlia Blackburn

    What seems to be a bit outrageous is the fact that it doesn’t say in the article if there were any priors on this person. If there was then the penalty seems fitting, perhaps this was just putting food on the table for a family? The technology used to locate a bag going off to the recycling center was probably fairly costly as well. On another note, the fact that it’s stated about waking up early and in the cold to see their work was gone, seems like a good intro to a lesson about real life.

    • Victor Diaz

      So what are you saying, Mr Gionis did a nice turn of community service teaching the kids a “life lesson”? What’s the lesson…there are a lot of thieves out there so when you do some charity work make sure to lock things up? He’s a thief, plenty of better alternatives available to him other than stealing.

      • Tahlia Blackburn

        What I am saying is things happen in life. It shouldn’t matter if you had to get up early or in the cold. The lesson is life happens outside of the comfortable bubble that we know as weston society. Yes. Lock things up. It happens. It is a life lesson that your not always going to be in a protective bubble.

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