Issues with RPD’s auto impound fixed after being down for 20 hours

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — When Rochester Police find a stolen car, it goes to the impound lot. But technical difficulties the past few days created a lot of stress for those trying to get their cars back.

The computer software was down for nearly 20 hours. No returns could be processed during this time.

With the amount of stolen car reports we get in a day, you can imagine how stressful it was for those drivers.

From 4 p.m. Tuesday to midday Wednesday, no one could get their car back from the lot. The internet was down for hours.

“Definitely created a little bit of work for impound staff, because we’re still bringing cars in. They’re still responsible to take those cars in so there’s a lot of manual notetaking and manual paperwork,” says Lt. Greg Bello.

Bello says they worked with the City IT department to fix it, and ultimately got it up and running again. 

“Certainly, if you came yesterday evening or this morning, certainly frustrating to have to come back a few hours later or the next day,” says Bello.

For drivers like Patrick here, it was unneeded stress, on top of an already terrible experience of getting his car stolen.

“We tried a couple days to get the car, unfortunately computer is not working. So it’s horrible because too many peoples stolen car you know,” says Patrick.

He says his KIA was stolen from a parking lot.

“We reported police. They found the car in the downtown and rode it here,” he explains.

From Ukraine, he’s been living in the United States for ten months. But he’s thankful he has friends to help with rides.

“Police have helping us, really fast found the car,” Patrick said.

The number for stolen cars this year, keeps rising. In 2019, the city averaged about 10 stolen cars a week. This year, it’s 83 a week.

“The Hyundai’ and KIAs are a huge significant portion of that,” says Bello. “So Rochester Police distributed well over a thousand antitheft devices to KIA and Hyundai owners here in the city. My understanding is repairs are available for both Hyundais and KIAs. Repairs are available at the dealers to eliminate that manual start of the car that can be hotwired, or whatever you want to call it”

Now keep in mind, there are daily fees you have to pay if your car sits in this impound lot. 

Rochester Police say stolen cars go there if they’re unable to locate an owner, or the car is severely damaged. After these technical difficulties, Rochester Police say they will waive fees where applicable.

They’re also waiving some fees for any KIA and Hyundai owners.