Watertown family speaks out after their car was stolen, used in crime spree

Watertown family wakes up to find their car gone
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 7:35 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - Car thieves are hitting the Naugatuck Valley again.

This time, a Watertown family woke up to find their vehicle was gone.

It was the 17th car stolen in town this year, and it didn’t stay in Watertown for long.

A family’s SUV was stolen from a Watertown condo complex early Tuesday morning..

The thieves immediately did damage, according to owner Sara Hamaguchi.

“They ripped out the overhead, the GPS and the garage buttons,” Hamaguchi said.

Hamaguchi was afraid she’d never see the blue Nissan again.

After posting about it on social media, Hamaguchi’s concern shifted.

People replied, reporting seeing her car in other places.

“They went on this nice, terrible rampage and just continued,” Hamaguchi said. “Stealing from peoples’ cars with my car. I know they even drove all the way up to Naugatuck and used my car to steal another car.”

“Where did they find it?” Eyewitness News asked.

“They found it all the way in New Britain,” said Hamaguchi.

It was ditched with an empty tank. The most important items to this mom were left behind.

“I didn’t care about any of the valuables I just wanted to make sure that he could still have some of his favorite toys from when he was a newborn,” Hamaguchi said.

Since the stolen car was captured on Ring Camera in Naugatuck, Watertown Deputy Police Chief Renee Dominguez said other jurisdictions are able to get involved, making what could have been two unrelated cases a joint investigation.

“Without the Ring Camera we might not be able to connect it,” Dominguez said.

She said the footage is critical, even if no theft occurs in the video.

“You might not realize ‘oh my car was just rummaged through.’ Well that car also was responsible for an armed robbery and your video footage is going to be what solves that,” said Dominguez.

No suspects have been identified in this case yet.

After the nearly 24-hour ordeal, Hamaguchi has her car back.

“It’s really scary to think about,” she said. “I’m just so thankful it didn’t happen in broad daylight with myself and my baby in the car.”