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Backyards, driveways, garages, sheds, and houses are at risk of being burglarized if area residents don’t take that extra step and keep them locked, says the resident state trooper serving Chester, Deep River, and Essex.
Although these towns are usually quiet and serene, over the past year, there have been a number of automobile break-ins and attempted home burglaries.
“This is really an epidemic,” said Essex Resident State Trooper David Tretter, who has served in Essex for the past four years. “I can not stress enough that people need to be aware and lock their cars, take their valuables out of their cars at night and into their homes, lock their sheds and garages, and call 911 if you see something.”
Last week the Town of Chester sent out a police advisory warning residents of recent activity. It stated that several vehicles had been “gone through” in various areas of Chester including Railroad Avenue, Denlar Drive. Goose Hill, and others. Approximately 10 cars had items stolen from them. It also stated that the suspects are from Hartford, New Britain and New Haven areas.
The closing statement of the advisory implored residents to “be vigilant and report any suspicious people or suspicious vehicles in the area.”
Tretter said, “In most of these cases we have found it to be juveniles who are committing these crimes. They see our big homes and nice neighborhoods in magazines and on TV and they come into our towns from the cities, with four to six people in a car. They walk around looking for unlocked cars to steal or steal from. They take loose change, money, IDs, credit cards, cell phones, anything valuable they can, and if the keys are left in the car, they steal the cars.”
He continued, “We have had these people steal cars with credit cards in them, and stop at the nearest convenience store and put gas in the stolen car, with the stolen credit card.”
Recently, during the late hours of Sept. 3 a car was stolen from the village area of Essex. The keys were reportedly in the car when it was stolen. The car was later recovered, crashed in Hartford.
“Unfortunately this is what we are seeing,” said Tretter. “We encourage people to make sure their security systems are on and in working order, use motion activated lighting and lock their cars and homes every night. We know that sometimes this is an inconvenience, but it’s very necessary right now,” said Tretter.
Most recently the thieves were caught on a security camera retrieving keys from a car and attempting to enter a residence.
“This is dangerous and worrisome. We are seeing that the suspects are getting bolder. They are not only targeting easy to get to homes, but they are walking down long, unlit driveways. Residents of these towns need to be more cautious,” Tretter said.
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