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PSA: Car Thefts

Public Safety Announcement:

In 2014, the Hartford Police Department recovered 226 stolen motor vehicles, in the City, which were stolen from out of town. In 2015 we recovered 313. As of July 25 2016, the Hartford Police Department has recovered 235 stolen motor vehicles in Hartford from out of town.  If the pace continues, it is projected that over 425+ stolen motor vehicles from out of town will have been recovered in Hartford in 2016. We are actively recovering vehicles daily from all over the state. One of our own HPD officers had a personal vehicle stolen in South Windsor last week. The vehicle was recovered in Hartford and it was a key fob theft.

We have been interviewing suspects, talking to victims and examining case detail.   Our investigators have noticed a specific similarity in car theft cases from out of town-  Newer model cars with key fobs left in the vehicle.

Car thieves are aware people leave their key fobs in the cars. We have found that the suspects are canvassing suburban neighborhoods in towns within the region.  Suspects walk the streets and driveways neighborhoods and pull on car door handles. In the newer model vehicles, if the fob is left in the vehicle, it will be unlocked. Once in the car, they will simply press the ignition button.  If a key fob is within the vehicle, (or sometimes within several feet proximity, such as in a neighboring parked vehicle), the vehicle will start and the suspects will drive off with the car. The key fob does not always need to remain in the car for the vehicle to remain on. 

Our victims have tended to be older, as this demographic has started cars with standard keys their entire lives. With this new fob system, when they enter a car they have the key fob out as if it were a standard key but just put it down somewhere in the vehicle. They then use the on/off start button. Unfortunately, the fobs are often left in the vehicle after the owners are done driving it. We are asking our citizens to please be aware of this. Please leave the key fobs in your pocket or pocketbooks- not in your car. If you notice somebody walking the streets or driveways checking door handles on cars, please report this to your local police department immediately.

2014 – 226

2015 – 313

2016 – 235  (Just over half year)

The last four weeks in Hartford:

•         99 stolen vehicles recovered

•         75 of the recovered stolen vehicles were thefts from out of town

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Hartford Police Department
Public Safety Complex
253 High Street
Hartford CT, 06103

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HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM