SOUTHINGTON — Police said most vehicle break-ins and thefts are crimes of opportunity, with the suspects often targeting unlocked cars near a main route or highway.
Police said on Tuesday that there has been a more than 200 percent increase in car burglaries in town compared to last year.
“Compared to 2019, Southington has seen a rise in both vehicle burglaries, increasing from 85 to 276 and vehicle thefts, which increased from 30 to 61 respectively,” Lt. Keith Egan said in a statement.
There were eight car burglaries reported throughout town between Monday and Tuesday. Egan noted the largest contributing factor is vehicles being left unlocked, adding suspects are “just running through neighborhoods pulling door handles.”
The area of town with the highest number of burglaries and thefts, both this year and last year, is the southwest corner.
“This is likely the result of ease of access to I-84 and Meriden-Waterbury Rd, leading towards Waterbury,” Egan said in an email Wednesday. “However, there’s no specific area that is targeted regularly; as an example, yesterday the vehicle break-ins were from as far south as Meriden-Waterbury, north to the Plainville line. Most are within some reasonable proximity to a main route, such as Rte. 10, 322, West St, etc.”
Egan said most, if not all, the thefts and burglaries are being committed by juveniles that are often using a stolen vehicle.
Police released a video — recorded by a doorbell security camera — of a stolen black 2020 Ford Mustang convertible with Florida registration BPMU11. The Mustang is suspected of being used in car burglaries and thefts in Southington. The vehicle, taken from Bloomfield, is known to have been been in Newington and Rocky Hill, according to police.
Anyone who observes the Mustang is asked to call 911 immediately and provide as much description as possible, including address seen, physical description of the occupants and direction of travel.
Police also advised residents not to leave anything of value in sight in their vehicles.