State lawmakers push for funding for car theft task force Operation Wingspan

State lawmakers are pushing to fund a local car theft task force that is getting significant results. Operation Wingspan is a task force that works out of Bridgeport's Command Center using surveillance and license plate readers to find stolen cars.

Mark Sudol

Mar 25, 2022, 9:16 PM

Updated 848 days ago

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State lawmakers are pushing to fund a local car theft task force that is getting significant results.
Operation Wingspan is a task force that works out of Bridgeport's Command Center using surveillance and license plate readers to find stolen cars.
It covers several local police departments, like Fairfield, that use a dedicated detective to fight these crimes.
In six months there have been almost 200 vehicles recovered, 93 adults have been arrested and 13 juveniles.
But federal funding for the program has run out.
"This program, where we have demonstrated results across a broad regional area that this is something that warrants funding," said state Rep. Laura Devlin, who introduced the House bill with state Rep. David Rutigliano.
Fairfield police say they have been able to recover dozens of stolen cars over the last few months, including one Thursday, and the cars are sometimes part of violent crimes.
"We do recover cars with ammunition in the car, bullet holes in it," said Fairfield Police Lt. Michael Paris.
Fairfield police say they're seeing many adult criminals using teens to commit these crimes for them because of a flawed juvenile system.
"They're using these juveniles to commit these acts and they may or may not do any time for it. And they're back on the streets moments after we're arresting them," said Paris.
Federal COVID-19 relief money got the program started. Lawmakers are pushing for this bill to pass in order for the operation to continue.


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