Juvenile Car Thieves To Get Help, Not Jail

June 8, 2019

The House handily passed a bill hours before the close of session Wednesday that would allow juveniles charged with car theft to seek services rather than face adult prosecution.

SB 504 gives juveniles the opportunity to go into treatment and have the supervision of a probation officer for a specific amount of time rather than go through the juvenile or adult court system.

The entire country has seen an increase in car thefts, said Judiciary Committee House Chairman Steve Stafstrom said.

“This is intended to address the issue towns in our state, particularly in the inner-ring suburbs, where they are seeing an uptick in the number of car thefts committed with some of those committed by juveniles,” Stafstrom said. “Nationally, there has been an uptick in car thefts as folks with key fobs leave them in the car. Unfortunately juveniles use that as a crime of opportunity.”

Stafstrom viewed the bill as a way to enhance juvenile justice reforms the legislature has passed in recent years. “It’s to make sure those juveniles who are wrapped up in the system as a result of a car theft can get the services they need and an opportunity to right themselves,” Stafstrom said.

For more, read this CT News Junkie story published in the Middletown Press.