Suffield Police take to social media to warn residents of car thefts across the state

SUFFIELD - A string of stolen cars across Connecticut has police departments on high alert.

The Suffield Police Department created a PSA to help raise awareness to the crime. In the video, police report "a car is stolen every 45 seconds," urging you to lock your cars and remove valuables.

Police said the common theme in recent car burglaries and theft is almost every vehicle is left unlocked. Suffield Police Department Captain Christopher McKee said between May 23 and June 3, three vehicles were reported stolen.

In that same time frame, police had more than two dozen burglaries where property was taken from cars, as well. Less than a month later, police arrested a 16-year-old male in Hartford.

Police also arrested a 17-year-old with the help of the Manchester Police Department. According to police, that juvenile was responsible for car thefts in both jurisdictions, as well as other area towns and cities.

That teen was found responsible for two other car thefts that had occurred in Suffield and was charged with: Larceny in the first degree, criminal mischief in the second degree and criminal attempt to commit larceny.

Both vehicles were returned to owners in good condition, according to police. Police anticipate more arrests to come from this investigation.

"We did the enforcement, we did the investigation but that's one group and this trend can come back around," Captain McKee said. "We’re trying to educate and change behaviors in our community and others."

The PSA involves three simple steps: lock your car, remove your valuables and take your keys.

"We're sounding like a broken record and I know our community is getting tired of hearing it but we need people everywhere to adhere to this so they can deny that opportunity for this crime to occur," he said.

In June, Suffield and Manchester Police held a meeting to discuss regional trends in recent auto theft. About 40 investigators from departments in the Hartford County area showed up.

Glastonbury Police also put out a video warning residents to be cautious with their cars. Recently, a video released on the town's website shows a local apartment complex as a target for a group of individuals attempting to break into cars.

This week, Hartford Police also reported three crimes in 24-hours involving stolen cars and juveniles. Two people are in the hospital, one with a dismembered leg, after a horrific car crash Tuesday afternoon.

Police say the car was allegedly stolen from West Hartford Tuesday morning. Police are using cameras in the area to help with the investigation. Police said they are looking for six teens in connection with this incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hartford police at 860-757-4000.