Police Break into Cars and Take Things to Prevent People from Breaking into Cars and Taking Things
Police in New Haven, Connecticut are breaking into vehicles to prevent break-ins as part of a program they hope will convince people to stash their possessions and lock their doors.
New Haven police announced this week that officers will be looking for unlocked cars with valuables in plain sight. The police said they plan to enter these cars without permission or a warrant to collect the belongings so they “are protected from criminals.”
The police believe that if they get to the valuables before the criminals, they will be doing the car owners a favor. At the same time, they are hoping to send a message to people to be more careful with their automobile security.
After rummaging through a person’s private vehicle (and possibly searching for anything illegal in the process), officers will first attempt to contact the owner using their license plate information. If they cannot reach them, officers take the possessions, lock the car, and leave a notice for the owner to retrieve their items at the police station.
Local resident George Critides told reporters he thinks the police should focus on catching the criminals — not breaking into cars — to stop break-ins. “I think there should be more foot patrols and more bicycle police in the neighborhood,” he said.