(WTNH) – Several police departments across the state are putting out warnings about an increase in car break-ins and thefts that are happening anywhere from gyms to daycares.
One Southington mom says it happened to her in a matter of seconds as she was picking up her daughter from daycare.
Thainara Figueiroa says she was in a rush and it was a cold day, so she left her car running. It’s something she and other parents at the daycare do often. She never expected her car to be stolen.
WATCH: Surveillance video shows a suspect stealing a car while a mom was inside a daycare picking up her child
“I walked out and I’m like, where’s my car,” Figueiroa said.
Within the time she picked up her daughter from the daycare, the suspect was caught on surveillance video walking up to the SUV, opening the driver’s side door, and stealing the car.
“I tried to stay as calm as I could, but on the inside, I’m like what is going on,” Figueiroa said. “I was angry because it was seconds, took seconds. It happened so quick.”
Her Range Rover was stolen Monday evening. She posted what happened on Facebook and said the next morning a friend found the SUV abandoned on a side street in Waterbury. It’s now back in her driveway, but with damage and missing items.
“The radiator had to be replaced, the thermostat had to be replaced and the cylinders had to be replaced,” Figueiroa said. “It got ruined because it almost got overheated, so luckily they ran out of gas. Two hundred dollars for the car seat, $200 for the Uggs, and $200 for the AirPods. It’s the little things, but it adds up.”
It isn’t just happening in Southington. Former Hartford Deputy Police Chief Nevill Brooks says it’s a constant crime.
“You should leave nothing in the passenger compartments of your car,” Brooks said. “Once again, that entices people to break into your car. Lock your doors, lock your doors when you leave your car, lock your doors when you’re in your car, and by no means should you leave your car running.”
“Just be careful, watch your surroundings, and don’t leave your car running unattended,” Figueiroa said. “It takes a minute.”
Waterbury police told News 8 that Figueiroa’s car was used in another crime after it was stolen. They say that incident as well as who stole the car is under investigation.