Police: 72 stolen vehicles recovered from Hartford area in past two months

A file photo of a Hartford, Conn., police cruiser.

An auto theft task force created two months ago has recovered 72 stolen vehicles, according to the Hartford Police Department.

The Greater Hartford Regional Auto Theft Task Force started Oct. 3. It pools together resources from various police departments to combat an uptick of auto theft in the region, police said.

The task force includes state police and 11 police departments — Bloomfield, Bristol, East Hartford, Farmington, Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, Rocky Hill, Southington, West Hartford and Windsor.

Since the task force’s inception, its members have made 46 arrests, 27 of which were for auto theft crimes. The task force has also recovered 10 firearms during these arrests, served two murder warrants and 29 other arrest warrants, the Hartford Police Department said Wednesday.

“This task force is a perfect example of how law enforcement agencies can work together and be more effective in making the region safer,” said Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody. “I can’t say enough about the work these officers, detectives and supervisors are doing under some of the most difficult circumstances. They have truly made an impact in a very short period of time.”

The police department said that in 2020, about 75 percent of stolen vehicles recovered in the city were stolen from suburban towns outside of Hartford.

“Often times individuals are stealing cars from towns from within the region and bringing the cars back to Hartford to commit violent crimes,” said Capt. Jeff Rousseau of the Hartford Police Department, who is the commander of the task force.

“Even more cause for concern is a lot of these individuals are juveniles, that have displayed a reckless disregard for the citizens living within our communities,” Rousseau added.

Motor vehicle thefts are not just an issue near Hartford. In 2020, there were 7,562 reported motor vehicle thefts statewide — a 45 percent increase from 2019, according to crime data from the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

A regional task force encompassing Bridgeport, Fairfield, Westport, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford and Newtown was also created in September. From its creation to late November, the task force recovered 84 stolen vehicles, according to a previous report.

Connecticut Media Group