Man tries to break into undercover cop car in Hartford


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – “I stupidly, for the first time left my car unlocked, and they got a GPS that was worth five dollars.”

When police lights woke up Bill and his wife early Thursday morning, they watched as police arrested Sean Colgan for allegedly breaking into a car. What he didn’t know at the time was that it was an undercover police car, with an officer in it.

“The guy was put up against the car, in handcuffs, I couldn’t believe the guy was that stupid. Really.”

Lt. Eric Rocheleau Is with the West Hartford Police Department. He says they were staking out the area because of recent burglaries, when Colgan was caught on the dash cam walking right towards the police officer.

“It’s 12:30 at night, there is no one around, this guy is walking with a backpack, he makes a beeline for the car. Just as he’s about ready to open the door handle, the cop jumps out orders him to the ground, the guy obeys immediately.”

It was a uniformed police officer in an unmarked police car, and by unmarked we are not talking about a cop car without lights, we are talking about a minivan or four-door sedan, something you would never pick out as a police car.

Lt. Rocheleau says they do this quite frequently. When they have an area where there a lot of break-ins or burglaries, they put boots on the ground, officers in cars and detectives on the street.

“We are using unmarks. We are using people on foot, people on bikes. You never know what you’re going to encounter when you come and try and steal stuff out of West Hartford.”

The headline “Car thief breaks into unmarked police cruiser” has made national news, and West Hartford is taking full of vantage of it. They’re letting everyone know they were very hard to stop break-ins, and also warning residents to do their part by locking their doors.

Police say Colgan had burglary tools in his backpack along with drug paraphernalia. He had a criminal history including a warrant out for his arrest.

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