Three teens were arrested after police found them sleeping in a stolen car in New Haven on Friday.
The incident happened on Nov. 20 in the area of Greenwood Street, which is located in the Hill North Section of the city.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported there were several stolen cars in the area of Greenwood Street.
An officer canvassed the area and found one of the missing cars parked in front of 25-27 Greenwood St. It was determined that the car had been stolen out of Hamden a couple of days earlier, officials said.
Police said the officer approached the car and found it was still running with three teens asleep inside.
Additional officers at the scene assisted in breaking the driver side window with a window punch, as the doors to the car were locked. Police said this move was to decrease any chance of the teens fleeing the area.
Police then reached inside the stolen car and unlocked the doors. While this happened, another officer saw one of the teens, reach into their waistband and pull out a firearm, officials said.
Officers then drew their handguns and ordered the teen to drop the firearm. After a brief standoff, the teen put the firearm down and was taken out of the car and detained, according to police.
Police said the teen had two outstanding warrants for car theft, one in New Haven and the other in West Haven. He faces additional charges including carrying a pistol without a permit, weapon in a motor vehicle, second degree larceny, and second degree conspiracy to commit larceny.
The front-seat passenger, a 14-year-old boy, was taken out of the car and also detained. He faces charges including second degree larceny and second degree conspiracy to commit larceny.
The operator of the car, a 15-year-old boy, had three outstanding arrest warrants, two in New Haven for drug sales and violation of probation and one from the town of Stratford for burglary. He faces additional charges including carrying a pistol without a permit, weapon in a motor vehicle, second degree larceny, and second degree conspiracy to commit larceny.
"All officers involved resorted to their training and handled a potentially deadly situation with poise and calm. Apart from Officer Lawrence suffering minor cuts to his hand, no one was harmed, and all three juveniles were taken into custody," the police department said in a statement.
There have been a total of 570 vehicles reported stolen in the city of New Haven this year, as of Nov. 8. This is an increase of 1.7% from last year, officials said.
Nearby towns have also seen an increase in car theft. Police officials said these thefts are typically a crime of opportunity, with victims leaving their vehicles insecure, often with the keys left inside and the engine running.
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