Frustrations about an increase in stolen cars and car thefts in Glastonbury drove dozens of people to show up to a youth crime forum on Thursday.
“We have never seen this type of brazen activity in our town ever,” said Kristen Bourbeau of Glastonbury.
Many are shaken by what’s unfolded recently in town.
Police dash cam video captured teens crashing a stolen car back in June. And earlier this month, a woman was shot at after she yelled at two people approaching her car in her driveway.
“The day where these juveniles are afraid of police, afraid of getting caught by the police are long gone,” said Glastonbury Police Chief Marshall Porter.
To help turn that around, some people believe new laws and actions are needed.
The Chief State’s Attorney is also pushing for changes.
“We need to figure out a way to give them the services they need to make a determination what’s causing the problem,” said Richard Colangelo, Jr., the chief state’s attorney.
Others point out the state needs to look at the tools that are already in place.
“Are they being used? If they are not being used, what do we need to do as a system to try and use those in a more effective way?” said Susan Hamilton from the Division of Public Defender Services.
People showed up from across the Greater Hartford area with similar concerns. Some wore red ribbons to honor a jogger who was allegedly killed by a teen driving a stolen SUV in New Britain last month.
Now, a group called Safe Streets Connecticut has formed to help keep people safe and pressure lawmakers to act.
“It’s obscene what’s happening and it needs to change,” said Bourbeau.
Lawmakers who attended say they’re pushing their colleagues to speed up work on new laws to tackle this issue.
Some would like a change to how long a youth can be held without a court order and better police access to their criminal history.