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West Hartford Police Report Rash of Car Burglaries, Stolen Vehicles

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police are warning residents to be extra vigilant about locking their cars after at least 15 cars were broken into and three were stolen overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police are reporting that at least 15 cars were broken into and three cars were stolen in one night alone, and are warning residents to lock their doors and not leave anything that could possible appear valuable visible in their vehicles.

Lt. Ted Stoneburner said that most of the incidents happened in the middle of the night – sometime after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18 – but a vehicle on Elmfield Street was stolen at 8:43 a.m. Wednesday when the owner went back into a home while leaving the car warming up in the driveway.

A majority, but not all, of the incidents occurred east of Trout Brook Drive, Stoneburner said, and it could not yet be determined if they were related. Streets where incidents occurred include Outlook Avenue, Westfield Road, Westbrook Road, Farnham Road, Pleasant Street, Welles Road, and Greenan Road, he said.

Most of the vehicles were unlocked, Stoneburner said.

This type of activity is common at this time of year, especially close to the holidays when many people purchase gifts and leave them in their cars. “This has always been a crime of opportunity in the colder months,” Stoneburner said.

“I’ve seen $200-$300 windows get broken all for $3 of change left in the center console,” Stoneburner said. He urged residents to keep anything valuable out of site – even chargers which may lead thieves to think that an iPad or iPhone may also be left in the car.

“If the car is left unlocked, they’ll go through it looking for whatever they can find,” Stoneburner said.

West Hartford Police will be increasing patrols and perhaps even adding foot patrols in certain areas, Stoneburner said, but the most important advice is one the police always stress: “like it, lock it, keep it.”

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