New Britain

New Britain Car Burglary Task Force Helps Reduce Crime

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It's a problem that's plagued police departments across the state for quite some time, but this year many have seen a large increase in car break-in burglaries.

"They're opportunistic. They're looking for that easy steal, the easy way to get into a car, get something of value, and move on," said New Britain Police Chief Christopher Chute.

To help curb the crime, in August, New Britain brought together more than 20 officers, detectives, and police supervisors and started a task force targeting car break-ins.

"Any time we see a spike in any type of crime, we're going to direct our resources to combat that issue," said Chute.

With the help of the task force, police say they've seen a drop in the number of car break-in burglaries. The city reported 64 in August, 68 in September, and 43 in October, but Chute says more needs to be done.

"Legislators have to go back to the drawing board. What's working right now does not work. The consequences for juvenile offenders, there is no consequence. They're back at it again ... They're identified, apprehended, they're back on the street, we're arresting them again," said Chute.

In a statement, Mayor Erin Stewart wrote, "The NBPD has done their job, now we need the court to do theirs. With courts shut down since the dawn of the pandemic, we've fallen into dangerous territory where these criminals are released back to the streets with no expectation of facing immediate consequences. The courts need to prosecute."

Police are also continuing to remind people to lock their cars, take their keys with them, and remove valuables from the vehicle. They add that if people have the means, they should consider installing cameras. The police chief says that footage from homeowners has been a big help in identifying and arresting those responsible.

Anyone with tips relating to car burglaries can use the anonymous tip line at 860-826-3199.

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