Police: ‘joy riding’ car thief arrested after pursuit, crash

Kenneth Hoffler (Police photo)
Kenneth Hoffler (Police photo)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – A man is accused of leading police on a car chase and crashing, after taking the car while it was left running Friday.

Kenneth Hofler, 18, of Rose Circle, is charged with second-degree larceny, engaging police in pursuit, driving without a license, reckless driving, evading responsibility, interfering with police, third-degree criminal mischief and a seatbelt violation.

Police said Hofler took a 2010 Honda Accord left running on Stoneycrest Drive about 1:15 p.m.

A witness gave police a description of the suspect, and an officer later spotted the car turn in front of him and then speed away, police said. Two pedestrians were almost hit. The car crashed a short distance away, hitting a tree, a fire hydrant and a street sign, police said.

Police added that Hofler confessed to stealing the Honda. “Initially, he was only going around the corner with the vehicle but decided to keep it. When asked why he took it, he simply said that the owner of the car was rich. When asked what he meant by that he told police that anyone with more money than him was rich,” police said.

Hofler was held on $75,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear at Middlesex Superior Court on Monday.

The Middletown Police would like to remind citizens to never leave your vehicle unattended and/or unlocked at any time. Most incidents involving thefts of vehicles or thefts from vehicles are instances of opportunity.

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