are ramping up overnight patrols of neighborhood streets in an attempt to thwart the efforts of those who have been breaking into vehicles.
In addition, they are asking residents to increase their own vigilance by reporting suspicious activity as soon as possible and by locking their vehicles, especially at night. That advice is being broadcast by West Hartford Police as part of the department's "" campaign being rolled out in West Hartford this week.
Lt. Jeff Rose of the West Hartford Police confirmed that there were 38 break-ins, all in the Morley neighborhood, that reportedly occurred overnight Sunday into Monday. Most of the incidents occurred on or near Cumberland Road, Bretton Road, and Auburn Road.
"It's a crime of opportunity. They take what they can put in their pockets," Rose said. Some of the items taken from vehicles this week include sunglasses, a Nintendo device, $5 in change, and a cell phone. An iPod Touch and MacBook were also reportedly stolen from a vehicle on Lockwood Terrace on Sunday night, Rose said.
"In many of the cases there was nothing stolen. They just rummaged through the vehicle," Rose said. In one case, just a can of soda was reported missing.
All of the vehicles involved in the most recent break-ins were unlocked, Rose said.
The incidence of car break-ins has been higher than normal in recent months. Rose said there have been 80 reported since Aug. 1, and about 275 in the past year.
"There have been arrests made this year, but not for the incidents in the past few days. It's certainly frustrating for everyone," Rose said.
The "Like It, Lock It, Keep It" campaign encourages residents to avoid storing valuables in their vehicles, to keep their vehicles locked, and to assist police efforts by calling 911 to report any suspicious activity.