Police Talk About Challenge in Stopping Joyriding Car Thieves

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Dash cam video provided by Glastonbury Police shows just a couple seconds of high-speed chaos stirred up by five teens taken into custody in Glastonbury this weekend.

“They were wearing full ski masks and t-shirts in the summer, so it was very scary for a lot residents to see these individuals running around their neighborhoods,” said Lt. Corey Davis.

The teens are accused of driving a BMW stolen from Tolland around Glastonbury Sunday afternoon. Police said they were looking into garages for other vehicles to steal before crashing the BMW twice and stealing a ride share driver’s car and crashing that too.

Three 18-year-olds and a 16 and 15-year-old were taken into custody, a common age police around the state see committing these crimes.

“Juveniles, it’s rare that they get held in detention here in Connecticut and so they’re just out there doing it again, so it is frustrating to us to see the same kids over and over within the region, get picked up for the same thing, so we wish there was more teeth in our law to be able to curb this activity,” said Davis.

Glastonbury police told NBC Connecticut that officers around the state are all saying the same thing about this cycle.

This session, some bills to beef up current laws were introduced, but never made it out of committee.

“We’ve been talking about this for months. Crimes continue. We’ve seen a rash of it throughout the state, Glastonbury only the recent one," said Rep. Jason Perillo (R) Shelton. He added, “Nothing is being done by the legislature and the hands of police officers are tied as well.”

A Glastonbury resident has been thinking about this problem a lot lately, too.

Her car was stolen in her mother’s driveway at the end of May. She said she had just run errands for her and was helping while her mom’s dementia caregivers changed shifts.

“For about seven minutes, I was detained in kitchen. 15 feet from where my car is parked and I was going back out. I had a class to go to,” said Jennifer Sanford, a member of the town’s board of finance (R).

Shocked, Sanford reported the theft to Glastonbury police, who confirmed the incident to NBC Connecticut.

“We need to check and adjust these laws. Are they accomplishing what we wanted them to do? No one wants to lock these children up,” said Sanford, who is also looking into the town having crime data more readily available for community members.

Her mother’s neighbor’s car was stolen not long before hers was.

Like the BMW stolen in the latest Glastonbury incident, Sanford said her car was eventually found unusable and with stolen items in it.

“It was taken in that small window of time, right under my nose while I was caring for my mom. It was really distressing," she said.

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