Fairfield meeting centers on rise in juvenile crime
State lawmakers heard from police and residents in Fairfield Monday night about the uptick in underage crime.
Members of the public were invited to the Sacred Heart University Community Theater to talk with officials about juvenile crime.
There have been a number of high-profile cases across the state involving crimes by minors recently.
Police and prosecutors said young car thieves are becoming more aggressive and organized, repeatedly stealing vehicles and sometimes using them to commit violent crimes.
They said car thefts by juveniles have been on the rise in the last few years.
A new law allows police to access juvenile records, but some say another law that limits the time to six hours that police can hold a suspect without permission of a judge needs to be changed as well.
Prosecutors spoke of the frustration with a system that is struggling to stop repeat offenders.
"They're laughed at when they're bringing the kid in because they know they're just going to be released," said state Rep. Laura Devlin. "It isn't just about stealing a car, it's about the incredible violence that happens after that."
Officials called for tougher penalties.
"There has to be some consequence for your action, even if you are a juvenile," said First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.
Authorities and officials said acknowledging a complex problem requires multiple solutions. They said positive, pro-active activities can help juveniles to a better future and not go down a path of criminal activities.
Devlin, who organized the event said she hopes to take the meeting's message to Hartford.