Good Question: Can you qualify for victim assistance if your car was stolen?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Can you qualify for victim assistance in Monroe County if your car was stolen or damaged?

Picture this. You’re leaving for work in the morning, you open your front door, and see your car smashed with shattered glass all over your driveway. Or maybe you open your door and see your car is missing entirely.

This has happened to many people in our community. A viewer wants to know: “Who is paying for the car thefts and the damage the thieves are causing to property?”

It depends on the circumstances. If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, it will likely cover the stolen car or repairs like broken windows and ignition systems. If not, you could be stuck with the bill.

Mary Delella, a crime victim specialist with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, says help is available for people who have had their cars vandalized if they meet certain criteria.

“For the break-ins, for catalytic converters, those type of crimes you have to be over 60 and the damage to your vehicle has to be, make it so that it’s inoperable or unable to pass inspection,” said Delella. “Then, we work with the Office of Victim Services to do an application to request any out-of-pocket expenses. So in a case like that, it’s typically your deductible amount.”

The Rochester Police Department’s Open Data Portal reports that more than 2,500 cars have been stolen in the city alone this year.

If your car was vandalized or stolen and you’re looking for help, you can reach out to the Monroe County’s Victim Assistance Program here.

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