What Fourth Amendment? Cops now stealing valuables from unlocked cars to punish trusting citizens

Yesterday, we brought you a groundbreaking report about a new initiative in which cops are using the law to steal possessions from unlocked cars.

Here’s the full scoop:

Residents of New Haven, Connecticut, are tired of having their cars broke into, which is why the cops have decided to take action, but not exactly in the way you would expect.

The New Haven Police Department is launching Operation “Caretaker” next month, an initiative in which cops will begin confiscating valuables from unlocked cars in an attempt to teach residents a lesson about making themselves vulnerable to theft, according to the New Haven Register.

New Haven Police Lt. Herbert Sharp says cops are permitted to steal items from residents’ vehicles under a section of Connecticut law that exempts authorities from abiding by the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unlawful search and seizures.

The exemption is one of six in Connecticut law that allows authorities to ignore the Fourth Amendment.

Did your car get broken into? Don’t worry about, it was probably the cops

Lt. Sharp told the New Haven Register that, after stealing valuables from unlocked cars, they will run the vehicle’s license plate and try to contact the owner. If they’re unable to reach the owner, they will take the items they wish, lock the doors and leave a receipt informing the victim who has the items and where they can be picked up.

Until then, their items will be locked up for “safekeeping,” police say. New Haven police are calling the thefts an act of “tough love.”

“When it comes to a car, if there is something in plain view that is of value, and the car is unlocked, law enforcement can go into the car and retrieve that item and take it into the property (room) and place it where it is safe,” Sharp told residents in a neighborhood meeting.

New Haven Police are convinced that stealing resident’s items from unlocked cars will reduce theft.

Well, yeah… because there won’t be anything left to steal!

“The bad guy is not going to break into the car and be able to take that item. It inconveniences the person to come down and pick up the property,” said Lt. Sharp. “Maybe next time they won’t leave their stuff in plain view.”

Police would rather steal property than put up signs warning of car thefts

Afraid of giving the area a bad reputation, police have declined to put up signs warning people of the recent increase in car break-ins.

Public warnings don’t work either, say police, because the city is filled with “transient students who move into the area for a short period of time,” leaving them no option but to steal people’s belongings before thieves do.

We need to get people’s attention, said Lt. Sharp.

Apparently, stealing from citizens is the best way to do that.

“That behavior, either we are going to allow it or we are going to do something proactively,” he said.

Residents aren’t exactly thrilled with the cops’ decision to steal people’s stuff.

“Not to sound harsh, but if you are a dumb (person)… and leave your computer in the car, you deserve to have it stolen. Don’t you guys have more important things to do?” asked one resident.

Former Connecticut resident says region’s morphed into a “Big Brother police state”

A former resident, who recently fled Connecticut and relocated to Texas, said that, while operation “caretaker” sounds outlandish, Constitutional violations aren’t uncommon in the state.

“Let’s just say citizens’ rights don’t exactly take precedence in Connecticut,” he said, citing draconian gun laws that swept the region following the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012.

Assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines are banned in the state. In 2013, Connecticut tightened gun laws, banning nearly 200 types of semiautomatic firearms.

“In Texas, I can own whatever type of firearm I wish, and cops aren’t breaking into my car to prove a point,” said the former Connecticut resident, adding that he doesn’t see himself returning any time soon.

“And another thing, the government has grown so large it’s become a Big Brother police state. They’re creating taxes that don’t exist in anywhere in the world other than Connecticut,” he said.

“I escaped, and many others are fleeing too. In fact, a recent poll showed that half of the state would flee if they could. It’s no longer America in Connecticut.”







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