MIDDLEFIELD — First Selectman Bob Yamartino said residents are concerned about the rise in crime locally — car break-ins in particular — and want to know what can be done to slow the trend.
“People have to take responsibility to remove the valuables from their cars, lock their doors, and take the keys inside with them,” said Yamartino, who pointed out that over the last five years, 25 cars were stolen and more than 80 burglarized in Middlefield.
“One hundred percent of these vehicle burglaries were in cars that were left unlocked,” Yamartino said. “There was no forced entry, there was no broken glass. What does that say? Take your valuables out of your vehicle. Take your keys and lock your car.”
Of the 25 cars stolen in Middlefield over the last several years, almost all had keys inside. In 2022, six vehicles were stolen in town.
“I have only investigated one car in my 10 years that did not have the keys in it,” Resident Trooper Matthew O’Brien said.
Since 2020, the start of the pandemic, police throughout the country have seen an increase in car break-ins and thefts.
Yamartino said locals have been calling his office non-stop regarding car crimes.
Along with working closely with local law enforcement, the first selectman said the town will be adding additional cameras to local roads.
Also, Yamartino wants people to ask themselves what they can do to prevent car crimes.
The first selectman indicated that residents should feel comfortable calling 9-1-1 when a situation warrants, as these calls help law enforcement determine how much police coverage is needed.
“If you see something, say something,” Yamartino said.