WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) – In the wake of a kidnapping in Wolcott, police in the town warned that car thefts are happening more often.
Police said the number of thefts has skyrocketed not just in Wolcott, but across the state.
Wolcott police said they are breathing a sigh of relief as both a 5 and 11-year-old were safe Monday morning.
However, they said the truth is they are not surprised that a criminal would stoop as low as stealing a car with a child inside because unfortunately they’ve seen it before.
In surveillance video released by Wolcott police, the thief bolts over from a nearby sedan, jumps into the idling car at the Cumberland Farms on Meriden Road in Wolcott, and takes off with the two children inside. Later, the 11-year-old wisely bailed out of the vehicle and helplessly ran after the car to try and help his sister. Fortunately, the thief later ditched the car a short distance away and police Chief Edward Stephens later found the girl sleeping in the back of the vehicle, apparently unharmed. It led to a joyful family reunion.
Stephens stressed to Channel 3 that since the pandemic, began his officers have been responding to a surge in car thefts, which also reflected a statewide trend. He said unfortunately as a result, people can’t let their guard down even for a few seconds to pump gas or for any other reason.
“You should not leave your car running anywhere, whether it’s in your driveway to warm up or whether you're going into a store to grab lunch or dinner. Take your keys. That’s the main thing.”
Police are still searching for the main thief and the driver in an accomplice vehicle. As of Monday morning, Channel 3 didn’t know much about the suspect. In many similar situations, the criminals weren’t trying to kidnap the children who are sitting in idling cars. However, obviously their lives were put in danger.