Juvenile arrests for car theft in Connecticut are up 37 percent in the past decade according to a March 2019 article published by the Hartford Courant. A simple Google search yields a number of articles last year addressing the mounting concerns of these juvenile car theft and burglary rings. Suffield has not been immune. In 2019, we had twelve vehicles stolen and countless unlocked vehicles entered. Ten of those vehicles stolen are believed to have been taken by these groups. All of the vehicles that were stolen had the keys readily accessible. Currently, we have an additional seven cars stolen this year. Again, all seven vehicles had the keys readily available.
A number of these juveniles have been arrested and in fact committed additional thefts while waiting for their respective court dates. These rings are aware of two critical facts. First, they know that the juvenile justice system has no intention of and will not incarcerate them and second, they know that the statewide uniform pursuit policy does not allow police officers to chase these vehicles. If they run, we cannot follow.
This message is a plea to our residents. Suffield has become an attractive target. Only when they spend an entire night in Suffield and walk away with nothing will they understand it is not worth their time to return. Please lock your doors and take your keys. An unlocked vehicle should be the exception not the rule.