The Berlin Police Department recorded six motor vehicle theft cases in March and five in February.
Speaking at a recent Town Council meeting, Chief of Police John Klett said most cars were stolen from places of employment, not from private residences.
Along with the 11 motor vehicle theft cases in March and February, 34 motor vehicle larcenies were reported in town during that time frame.
Most vehicle-related crimes are carried out by small groups of young adults, said Klett. Ever since COVID-19 hit, many courts across the county have halted trials and scaled back other courthouse activties, which likely has led to more crime.
“They have not had a trial in New Britain since March of last year, and a lot of people who would have been convicted are not because they are misdemeanors and they are out on bond,” said Klett. “One individual has been arrested six or seven times and he has yet to see the inside of the courtroom.”
Once the courts reopen, “some of the pressure” will be taken off of the police force, said Klett.
The police chief said his department has strengthened motor vehicle enforcement, pointing out that the effort makes the roads safer and deters criminals from coming to town.
Also, Klett said, “I think it’s great that the community is really starting to wake up and report to us and lock their vehicles.”
As of April 6, for the month, the Berlin Police Department had recorded one case of a car break-in and a vehicle theft. The stolen car was unregistered and abandoned in the parking lot of a business for more than a month.