I-TEAM: State Police say more arrests pending in street takeovers happening across the state
(WFSB) - What happened in Tolland Sunday night is the latest in a “string” of these street takeovers.
Tolland’s takeover ended with the arrest of an alleged “ringleader.”
Now State Police are taking the I-Team exclusively through their investigation.
State Police say multiple investigations into multiple takeovers have been happening for months and have involved a lot of social media work and undercover operations. They say arrests are pending.
“We know they’ve been happening throughout the state at numerous locations for months now,” says State Police Sergeant Christine Jeltema.
State Police Sergeant Christine Jeltema is talking about what police call “street takeovers,” hundreds of cars gathering in places like Tolland, Simsbury and New Haven, doing donuts and burnouts in streets and parking lots.
The most recent taking place in Tolland.
“I think the last one, there were about 200 people there. They can be violent, it’s very scary.
Sergeant Jeltema says troopers, local police and the FBI have been working for months on tracking people involved in these street racing groups, especially the key leaders, by identifying their social media handles.
“The way they get people in is through social media. They have different names; they post videos up on social media platforms,” says Sergeant Jeltema.
One of the alleged ring leaders, 20-year-old Jefferson Duron was arrested after troopers followed him to several takeover locations Sunday night.
In his arrest report, troopers said “It should be noted that the Gray Mustang GT would leave a meetup location before all the other vehicles left. That Mustang would then arrive to the next meet up location before any other vehicles arrives, indicating that the operator of the mustang was scouting and potentially organizing the meet up locations.”
Sgt. Jeltema says because the takeovers tend to quickly disperse as trooper arrive, they rely on social media videos and witnesses after the fact.
“We often ask for people to come forward in a confidential way,” says the Sergeant.
Asked to address the criticism some Tolland residents had about State Police response, Sergeant Jeltema says, “with the minimum amount of staffing that we have, and the big square mileage our troopers are covering, often the response time might be a little bit slower than people are hoping for. The second they know law enforcement might be showing up, if it’s one or two troopers or police officers, it’s easier for them to leave and more difficult for us to track them down. We again for months have been tracking and following these individuals and trying to identify the key leaders so having them disperse in a way that we’re not able to glean anything from that could potentially hinder any type of investigation.”
We reached out to Duron. He said he does not have any comment at this time.
State Police say there are more arrests pending.
They also advise anyone who finds themselves driving up to a street takeover, to turn around and call 911 immediately because it can be dangerous.
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