Police have continued to receive reports of vehicle thefts and entries. Two more occurred on June 22; one was stolen from a driveway, another was entered. Both vehicles were unlocked. To date, every stolen vehicle was unlocked, and every entered vehicle was unlocked.
“These are not break-ins,” said Police Chief Richard Doyle. “They’re walk-ins.”
There are usually three or four juveniles driving around in a stolen vehicle. They case a neighborhood on foot in search of unlocked cars. When they find one, they try the ignition button, and if the car starts, they take off. If the car doesn’t start, they take whatever valuables they find, police said.
The drivers of these stolen vehicles also pose a risk to police officers, who may unknowingly stop them on a routine check, according to Doyle. If a vehicle is stolen at 3 a.m. and isn’t reported until 9 a.m., officers will not know the vehicle is stolen. As soon as the vehicle is reported missing, police officers can identify the stolen car by license plate, but during those intervening hours, there is increased potential for car accidents and dangerous interactions between police offers and these drivers.
The police department has recovered vehicles from Easton in Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury and several other towns. Recovered vehicles are processed.
The evidence analysis shows that the unknown offenders operate in communities all around the state. It is difficult to apprehend these subjects when they are on foot and can simply step into darkness or behind a bush when they see headlights approaching, police said.
Doyle strongly advises all vehicle owners to remove valuables and lock cars every night.