Hartford residents call for action over surge in stolen cars

Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant

Wearing a red sash to honor her dead friend, Anna Dubiel asked through tears at a public safety forum in East Hartford Wednesday night why Henryk Gudelski had to perish at the hands of a teenager who police say had been arrested 13 times in the past 3½ years.

The meeting at East Hartford Middle School was called to discuss the ongoing surge in stolen cars and related crimes that has hit the Hartford region particularly hard.

Citizens gathered at East Hartford Middle School Wednesday night calling for action to quell the ongoing crime wave. (Jesse Leavenworth/The Hartford Courant

Walking over to Dubiel as she waited for a reply, East Hartford Police Chief Scott Sansom said, “Because the system failed you.” Sansom then hugged the sobbing woman.

Gudelski’s death in New Britain on June 29 has become a focal point for an uprising of angry citizens who say they are tired of being victimized and scared. Raucous at times, the East Hartford gathering of about 60 area residents and municipal and state officials followed a similar packed meeting in Glastonbury last week.

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