Springfield residents concerned after several weekend car break-ins

Western Mass News is getting answers after a viewer reached out to our newsroom concerned about car break-ins in her neighborhood.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:16 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News is getting answers after a viewer reached out to our newsroom concerned about car break-ins in her neighborhood. She said over the weekend, several of her neighbors had their windows smashed and valuable items stolen and she’s not getting the response she’d hoped for from police.

Springfield Police told us Tuesday that nearly two dozen cars were broken into in the Liberty Heights area Saturday night into Sunday morning and now, people are worried for their safety.

“Multiple neighbors said they went and bought bats and left them at their front doors and it’s just a disaster, to be honest,” said Tracy Flor-Norton.

People are on edge in one Springfield neighborhood after 20 cars were broken into over the weekend.

“My husband went out to the garage, which is on Kendall Street to get ready to do some stuff for the day and noticed some of the neighbor’s windows were broken on their cars,” Flor-Norton added.

Flor-Norton lives on Cherrelyn Street and said many of her neighbors had their wallets stolen.

“So the next thing they have to do is cancel all their cards, wait a week before they can request new cards and try to get a new driver’s license…Honestly, a lot of people, I’m not sure they can afford to fix their cars right away. It’s definitely not a wealthy neighborhood,” Flor-Norton explained.

In one Ring video shared with Western Mass News, you can see someone get out of their car and approach one of the parked cars on the street then run back into their car. What appears to be the same car is seen in this video stopping next to another parked car and driving away.

“We just all feel like not safe in our own homes and it’s a lot of families, a lot of small children, and it’s kind of like if they can break into our cars and take our money, you know, whatever they can get, when are they going to start trying to break into the houses? It’s just very uncomfortable,” Flor-Norton noted.

Flor-Norton said it’s even impacting one of her neighbors’ livelihood.

“He runs his own business. He is a mover for people and his wallet got stolen, so right now, he can’t drive, so it’s kind of impacted his own business as well,” Flor-Norton said.

She also told us she’s frustrated with her communication with police.

“I just really am disappointed in the police department’s response, I guess…We had called, my husband and I, a few times and every time we were told it was just not a priority,” Flor-Norton added.

We brought her concerns to Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh, who told us this is different than the car break-ins they normally see in the city.

“What’s unusual about this is normally, you don’t see the windows getting smashed. It’s individuals, kids, or addicted individuals that are pulling on doors, seeing if anything opens,” Walsh explained.

He also said that detectives are taking this issue seriously and are looking at city cameras.

“It was a real brazen job by these suspects that kind of went on a one-night crime spree and our detectives are looking into it and will hopefully have some answers for these residents,” Walsh added.

Walsh said that police are now paying special attention to that area, especially on the midnight shift, and he’s reminding people not to leave anything valuable in their cars because once it’s stolen, it’s likely gone for good.