A Branford police cruiser was damaged when three juveniles in a stolen car crashed into it Tuesday morning, according to Branford police, and they are still looking for the third suspect.
Branford Police Captain Geoff Morgan said the three juveniles were in a car that was stolen out of New Haven when they hit a cruiser driven by a Branford police sergeant on Meadow Street, near Indian Neck Avenue, around 5 a.m.
The sergeant was not injured and was able to stop one of the suspects while the others ran.
A second suspect was located, but the third remains at large.
Morgan said the suspects were trying to steal vehicles in Branford when the crash happened. One of the suspects in a chronic offender, Morgan said.
There have been multiple car thefts and items stolen from cars over the past year in Branford.
According to data collected in collaboration with other towns, more than 100 cars have been stolen since January 1. With the average car worth around $15,000, that's a loss of roughly $1.5 million.
“Those juveniles captured this morning are repeat offenders of this type of crime and are involved with other types of serious crime," Chief Kevin Halloran said in a release to the media.
Halloran said that he and other area police chiefs are working together in hopes of strengthening juvenile laws to reduce the chance for re-offenders.
NBC Connecticut spoke by phone with Deborah Fuller, the director of Family and Juvenile Services from the state’s judicial branch.
Fuller said they are aware that teen car thefts have become an issue, adding there are discussions on the matter happening at the state capitol and it’s up to the General Assembly to toughen the laws.
Teens older than 15 years old are subject to be transferred to adult court depending on the severity of the charges they’re facing.
Branford police also reminded residents to lock their vehicles and not leave keys or valuables in the car.