Vehicle thefts are spiking across Connecticut and Hartford has already surpassed the number of stolen vehicles they saw in 2015 by 45, according to police.
To make matters worse, police said the technology they thought would help lower that number is actually working against them.
“You had the years of people breaking in and hotwiring a car, then you had the shaved-down keys, but now we are seeing a lot of the keyless entry or the key fob being stolen,” Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said.
To try and stop the surge, an auto theft task force is bringing together a dozen departments. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they all met at Hartford Police headquarters and initiated a recovery operation.
NBC Connecticut was the only TV station asked to ride along as they tried to track down a list of the most recently stolen vehicles.
“We had an incident about a month ago now where there was a group going through one of our small neighborhoods and going through cars,” Sgt. David McNeice, of the East Windsor Police Department, said. “A lot of these stolen cars are ending up in Hartford.”
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal sat in as the teams were dispatched and said these efforts are needed on a national level.
“As technology advances, this kind of cutting-edge car theft needs to be met with cutting-edge police work,” Sen. Blumenthal said.
During their 48-hour push, the auto theft task force recovered 26 stolen vehicles and five stolen license plates and made several arrests.
Police said, until people remember to lock their cars and take their keys, their work will continue.
“It won’t be the last one by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, these are the first two (nights)of many we will do moving forward until the problem subsides,” Deputy Chief Foley said.