Stolen cars were less of an occurrence in Ridgefield in 2018 than the previous year.
Ridgefield police reported eight stolen car investigations last year, 10 fewer than the 18 vehicles reported stolen in 2017.
Police Chief Jeff Kreitz said the lower number of thefts was likely due to greater awareness on the part of residents removing their keys from their car and “locking their vehicles at night and removing valuables, as well as them calling in suspicious vehicles.”
He also attributed the lower number of stolen cars to “our officers going out there and investigating all of these suspicious vehicle complaints.”
Neighboring police departments also helped, with four arrests made in connection to stolen cars from Ridgefield in 2018. By comparison, two arrests were made in 2017 — both outside of town.
Kreitz credited the increase in arrests to communication between police departments in the state, as well as “active investigation by law enforcement in the entire area.”
Vehicle larcenies down
Reports of items stolen from cars — often cash and credit cards — were also down. There were 15 incidents of motor vehicle larcenies reported in 2018, compared to 41 the previous year.
Most of the crimes are being committed by juvenile offenders, Kreitz said.
“Youth can be influenced to do it,” he said.
That’s because that the justice system is “more lenient” toward youth offenders, Kreitz said.
Ridgefield’s police chief added that his department continues to share information on stolen cars and larcenies from motor vehicles with other law enforcement agencies.
“These obviously have been increasing across the state in the last few years, so we’ve taken an aggressive stance towards it,” Kreitz said.