Our View: Whether for 'joy' or profit, car thefts are on the rise

Published on Friday, 11 August 2017 20:22
Written by Staff


It’s an old, old story. It’s summer and thieves are active. As Herald reporter Christie Stelly told us Friday, Connecticut - and, in particular, New Britain, Newington and Bristol - are seeing car thefts spiking.

But not all car thefts are the same.

Bristol Police Capt. Edward Spyros explained the 16 percent increase in his city this way: “Most car thefts can be described as joy riding - not the theft of a vehicle for profit.”

He added that the culprits are often teens out of school and bored.

This particular summer pastime should come as no surprise to even our oldest readers. Many a Baby Boomer can remember the need to get from Point A to Point B, even if the driver was too young to have a license or too poor to buy an automobile. (Granted, it was easier to hotwire a car in those days.)

On the other hand, many of today’s thefts, including the Lexus that disappeared from Newington last month, are of cars that can be quickly turned into cash.

Most stolen cars were left unlocked and, in many, the keys were inside the vehicle. Thefts like this, according to AAA, can happen to anyone who leaves their automobile open to intruders. And, no, the odds on being a victim don’t go down because you live in a “nice” neighborhood. In fact, that’s exactly where a professional thief is likely to head to find a car valuable enough to turn into cash. Skeptical? AAA reported that six cars were stolen in wealthy Greenwich in a single night!

Whatever the motive, police have the same advice - and you’ve heard it here before: Lock your car.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Friday, 11 August 2017 20:22. Updated: Friday, 11 August 2017 20:24.