DARIEN, Conn. – Four teens accused of stealing cars for a gang that sells them to drug dealers were arrested Monday by officers investigating a cluster of vehicle thefts in the Noroton Bay section of Darien, police said.
The teens – two 17-year-old boys from Hartford and East Hartford whose names were withheld because of their age; Gerald Jackson, 19, of Hartford; and Katarina Harris, 19, of New Britain – were all arrested Monday after leading officers on several car chases that ended 70 miles away in Hartford, according to Darien Detective Sgt. Jeremiah P. Marron Jr.
The incident began about 4 a.m. Monday, when the teens began looking for unlocked cars with keys in them in the roads and driveways of Noroton Bay, according to police. Four cars were stolen and an additional 10 were burglarized, Darien police said.
Shortly after 6 a.m., police received a report of a stolen car from a Mayflower Road resident, Marron said. Investigators soon learned that the thefts included a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 2013 BMW X5, a 2012 Ford Edge and a 2009 BMW convertible.
The Ford was located soon afterward at Nearwater Lane and Baywater Drive, according to police.
During the investigation, Darien police used the BMW X5’s location system to determine that the car had been crashed on Sherbrooke Avenue in Hartford about 5:45 a.m. Hartford police responded to the area and found the car had been deserted there, Marron said.
Officers continued investigating and at about noon, located the Jeep and attempted to pull over its driver, Marron said. The driver led Hartford police on a chase that “due to the dangerous nature, was terminated a short time later,” he said.
About 12:30 p.m., Hartford police spotted the Jeep and were again led on a chase, Marron said. This time, officers were able to stop the Jeep and arrest the people inside, he said.
The driver of the car, the 17-year-old from Hartford, was charged with first-degree larceny and several other motor vehicle offenses, he said.
The 17-year-old from East Hartford was charged with a larceny by possession. Jackson and Harris were each charged with interfering with an officer.
All four of the teens were in police custody later Monday.
Marron said the teens are believed to be part of a gang that targets neighborhoods in which residents leave their cars unlocked with the keys inside. After the cars are stolen, they are often sold on the street, used during drug deals and involved in police chases, he said.
Marron said the four cars stolen early Monday were recovered. Police on Monday urged all car owners to lock their doors and not leave valuables or the keys inside.
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