Police: Arrests made after carjacking in West Hartford
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Two arrests have been made after a carjacking in West Hartford Tuesday afternoon, police say.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:34 p.m. at a parking lot on Oakwood Avenue.
The 42-year-old victim told police he arranged to sell his vehicle.
“The victim went to assist a distressed motorist in the parking lot when he was approached by one of the suspects who displayed a handgun and stole the victim’s keys,” West Hartford police said.
The suspects and the distressed motorist then left the scene, police say.
Police say the suspects were operating a silver BMW.
“It appears as if the distressed motorist acted as a distraction,” police said.
The victim was not injured in the incident.
“This is something that is growing and that we’ve seen throughout Connecticut,” says Kenneth Gray, a criminal justice professor at the University of New Haven.
Gray says stealing cars is a trend that has hit Connecticut.
“For a while it seemed like some of the cars that were stolen were by teens who were out joy riding. When you add the complication of cars being stolen at gunpoint, it is no longer a joy ride,” says Gray.
Gray says a good way to avoid carjacking is to keep the car’s doors locked at all times. According to Gray, if someone is able to get into the car, he says the best thing to do is comply.
“Your life is not worthwhile losing for that vehicle. The vehicle can be found at a later time. Even if it’s not, your life is worth more than your car,” says Gray.
Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert says these cases are one reason the Hartford Police made a designated online transaction space.
“We dealt with this a lot in Hartford in the past, a lot of robberies that resulted in online transactions,” says Boisvert.
Lt. Boisvert’s biggest piece of advice for buying online is to meet the seller at a local police station.
“I would also recommend that if at all possible bring somebody with you. If you have someone with you that’s a guardian, that’s another person to identify the person you’re dealing with,” says Gray.
“At the end of the day, it’s property. That can be replaced, your life cannot,” says Boisvert.
Police say they arrested two people in connection with this carjacking. Police arrested Gregory O. Ortiz from New Britain, and Ashley M. Antonetti of East Hartford.
Ortiz, 30, was charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny, and carrying a pistol without a permit. Ortiz is being held on $250,000 bond, and was transported to Hartford Superior Court.
29-year-old Antonetti was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny. Police say she is currently being held on $150,000 bond, and was transported to Hartford Superior Court.
West Hartford Police say they were able to recover both vehicles, and are continuing to investigate this incident.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the West Hartford Police Department at 860-523-5203. Tips can also be sent to email@example.com or by calling (860) 570-8969.
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