New Haven Police Call Off Plan to Take Valuables Out of Unlocked Cars

Police are calling off a plan in a section of New Haven for cops to remove valuables from unlocked cars for safekeeping from lurking burglars.

The city attorney advised New Haven police to put the trial program on hold, according to New Haven Mayor Toni Harp’s spokesperson. Police were planning on piloting a program that involved officers taking valuables from unlocked vehicles in the East Rock neighborhood in the city.

The motive behind the program was to keep the valuables safe and to get the message across to the community - lock your doors and don't leave valuables in yours car.

“On advice of corporation counsel the New Haven police department has decided to postpone any implementation of that plan," Laurence Grotheer, of New Haven, said.

While this practice would have been allowed because of the caretaker provision in the state’s search and seizure laws -- residents still raised concerns this week to NBC Connecticut.

“Well I think that’s a real invasion of privacy actually and I would not favor that," Anna Broell Bresnick, of New Haven, said.

Mayor Toni Harp’s spokesperson says another reason stopping the pilot program was because the media helped spread the intended safety message to the public.

“In this case it’s about locking automobiles, it’s about keeping valuables out of sight so that there isn’t an easy target for would be thieves," Harp said.

Police say car break-ins and other property crimes typically go up this time of year as we approach the holiday season.

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