NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual report shows the number of car thefts across the nation jumped by 6.6% from 2015 to 2016. Breaking the numbers down state by state the NICB says the New Haven Metro area ranks as the number one place to have your car disappear in Connecticut.
Quite often what we see where we’re located right near New Haven, West Haven, Bridgeport, Milford is right there, vehicles are used in the commission of a crime. They’re often left here and they’ll steal another car,” said Officer Mike DeVito with the Milford Police Department.
Last year, 2294 cars were stolen in and around New Haven. Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford ranked second and the Bridgeport, Stamford-Norwalk area came in third.
“The most favorite car is one that’s unlocked,” said DeVito.
DeVito says his department has witnessed the rise in car thefts first hand. Last year, Milford had 93 stolen vehicles, many of which were taken from the Post Mall parking lot.
“We have a very large mall which is easily accessible to 95 and even 15 for that matter. There is a large movie theater there so we do see a lot of cars stolen from there,” said DeVito.
DeVito says residential areas can also be a draw for would-be thieves. Criminals are drawn to dimly lit areas and houses with open garages.
“As long as we, you know, let ourselves be easy victims it will continue to jump upwards. If we take the steps to lock our cars, don’t leave our keys in the car, we can see them start trending the other way,” said DeVito.