Hundreds of out-of-state teens blamed for vehicle break-ins

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – Hundreds of teens from mostly out-of-state were responsible for the recent vehicle break-ins across Southern New England.  

“I feel very violated,” Tiffany Labonte said.  

Her car was broken into while she was at her cousin’s house in Johnston on Sunday. 

She noticed when she went to leave.   

“Glove compartment was ripped open and my wallet with a couple other belongings that were missing,” Labonte said.

She ended up finding some of her belongings down the street, but said she was still missing some essentials. 

“All my credit cards, all of my work certificates,” Labonte said. “My license, medical cards.” 

Later on, she found she was not the only vehicle break-in victim that night in Johnston. 

“I heard that there was another break-in at about 12:45 that night about 10 minutes from where I was,” Labonte said.  

ABC 6 News found out from Johnston police that the recent spike in vehicle thefts, across the area, was part of a growing trend involving hundreds of teens; some connected with each other and some not. 

Police said most of them were coming from Connecticut to try and throw off investigators. But, ABC 6 News was told that those investigators were coordinating with police in Connecticut to try and stop the break-ins. 

“I think what it will take to stop this trend is people being more alert, calling us and locking their car doors,” Johnston police Chief Joseph Razza said.  

This past week some concerned neighbors did call Johnston police and they ended up arresting a 15-year-old and 17-year-old. 

“They had stolen property on them,” Chief Razza said.  

That was only a fraction of the estimated number of suspects out there and did not include the thieves who stole from Labonte.  

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island