WOLCOTT, Conn. (WTNH) – Two teenagers stole a woman’s car in Wolcott on Thursday before leading officers on a dangerous chase through Waterbury, according to authorities.
Police fear these car thefts are part of a growing trend, as more and more teens are being arrested for car thefts.
Around 1 p.m. a running vehicle was stolen from a home on Chicory Drive, according to police.
The owner of the car told police she ran into her home to grab something and when she came back, one of the suspects pointed a gun at her. The teens then stole the car and drove off.
The Wolcott Police Chief, Edward Stephens, believes the two teen suspects, 14 and 16, were in a silver car captured on home surveillance footage. He said the teens had been seen stalking the neighborhood.
“They are doing this in broad daylight. They don’t care because they feel nothing’s going to happen to them,” Stephens said.
Around 4:40 pm, Waterbury police officers spotted the car, a 2015 black Honda CRV, occupied by juveniles in the area of Pine Street and Byrneside Avenue. Officers tried to stop the vehicle but said the driver drove recklessly until it crashed into a police cruiser and another car at the intersection of Kingsbury at North Elm Street.
The teens are in police custody and police located a 9mm pistol in the car.
Police say the 16-year-old is known to police for his prior involvement with stolen cars.
Both teens are facing a number of charges including weapons in a motor vehicle, carrying a pistol without a permit, car theft and interfering with a police officer.
The 16-year-old faces additional charges relating to engaging police in a pursuit and evading responsibility.
Chief Stephens said there is a pattern of teens stealing cars.
“These juveniles know that nothing is going to happen to them when they steal a car. It’s a property crime, they don’t care. The problem is they’re getting bolder and bolder. Now they are carrying guns and shooting at people. Something [has to change] so we can protect the citizens that we’re sworn to protect,” Stephens said.
The neighborhood around Chicory Drive has been targeted before. Stephens said someone was checking cars to see if they were unlocked this past Sunday.
Jodi Perazzella lives on Chicory Drive. She said she doesn’t leave her car unlocked anymore after hearing what happened.
“I lock my car when I get out of it, I lock my car when I’m pumping gas. I’m very aware of my surroundings now. But knowing that it happened on my street is terrifying,” Perazella said.
Police are reminding the public to take their car keys out of the ignition, to lock your doors and not to let their guard down.