State Police investigating as car theft ring strikes again in Westfield

A string of car break-ins in western Massachusetts has several towns on high alert, especially since the suspects are still at large.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 3:34 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:24 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A string of car break-ins in western Massachusetts has several towns on high alert, especially since the suspects are still at large.

Western Mass News spoke with one Westfield resident who had his car stolen right out of his driveway over the weekend. Police believe that it was part of a bigger operation across the region over the past month.

“Crystal was going out to work, came in and said, ‘The car is gone!’” said David Archard.

He was in for a surprise when he woke up at his home on Llewellyn Drive in Westfield Sunday morning. That was when he told Western Mass News his black Hyundai Genesis was stolen right from his driveway.

“Car wasn’t locked, just let our guard down a little bit,” Archard said.

He said that he filed a police report, and neighbors are submitting their Ring camera footage in hopes of catching the suspects.

“I did talk to the police officer that day, and he looked at it and says, ‘Yeah you didn’t get anything,” Archard’s neighbor, John Schoenrock, told us. “It’s sad that this stuff is happening. It bothers us, it bothers my wife.”

This came one week after police in Tolland said that a number of cars were hit over the weekend and a suspect fled towards Sandisfield. Police added that it is a part of a bigger operation in western Massachusetts with an uptick of car break-ins reported over the past month.

“They are hitting all the neighboring communities, as well as Russell and Montgomery,” said Russell-Montgomery Police Lieutenant Sean Shattuck. “We are doing everything we can to try to apprehend them.”

Officials told us that State Police in Russell are picking up the investigation and that every department is looking for the public’s help in finding the suspects.

“Even if there wasn’t something of real value stolen, or it was just rifled through, call us,” Lieutenant Shattuck said. “Let us get your information, let us make it part of our investigation.”

Meanwhile, Archard shared a message to the criminals who stole his ride: “Give me my car back and stay out of the neighborhood.”

He also told Western Mass News that he is now putting his guard back up.

“I’m going to take those Ring cameras off of the floor of the garage and put them up,” Archard said. “We were going to put them up just to look for bears, not to be looking for criminals.”

Police shared tips to make sure that you are not targeted, including locking your car, removing valuables, and using lights and cameras.

“We’re here. If you see something, call us,” said Lieutenant Shattuck. “It’s always the old saying – if you see something, say something.”

Police said that most, but not all, of the stolen cars were unlocked. Archard added that his key fob was in the car when it was taken.

According to Lieutenant Shattuck, this is an ongoing investigation by State Police.