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Hartford Police: Thieves stealing dealership keys and cars

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HARTFORD — Hartford Police say they have noticed a pattern in Hartford and the surrounding area where thieves steal the keys to dealership cars, and if they don’t steal the car right away they come back later on.

Police say they have seen cases where cars were used to drive over and through dealership fencing and other cars followed.

Often these cars end up on the streets in the city.

The police department sent a letter to 198 dealerships and repair shops in the Hartford area advising them on what they can do to protect their cars:

“The Hartford Police Department Major Crimes Division is investigating six burglaries into vehicle dealerships and automotive repair facilities in the city since this past July. These incidents are occurring in the late night/early morning hours, and the days are spread throughout the week. Suspects have breached doors and windows to the properties and have stolen keys to vehicles that are parked in the lots. On one such occasion, fifty-six (56) keys were taken. Patrol units arrested the suspects when they returned two days later as they entered the property to take the vehicles.

Although several individuals were arrested and more identified, please take appropriate measures in preventing such incidents from occurring at your place of business. Precautions should be made in regard to securing the vehicle keys in a lockbox or at a secure location. It is recommended that the vehicle key box and all relative paperwork such as titles and registrations remain out of view from customers patronizing your business. Although patrol units have been advised to conduct routine patrols at dealerships after hours; it is also imperative that you secure your lots, vehicles, and establishments as best you can. A high-quality surveillance system at one burglary assisted detectives with quickly identifying several suspects.

Please report any suspicious activity to the Hartford Police Department Major Crimes Division.”