August 28, 2019 06:41 AM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Rochester teen who became an internet star reporting on local news and showing up at crime scenes now faces his own criminal charges after he allegedly stole an unmarked police car.
Geoffery Rogers, 17, was arraigned Tuesday in Rochester City Court. According to court documents, Rogers and a 13-year-old entered the city’s Auto Depot on Mt. Read Boulevard early Monday and took off in a Honda Accord used by police.
“Anytime a police car is stolen, that’s very concerning here,” said Daniel Strollo, the Monroe County Senior Assistant District Attorney who laid out the charges in court. “Not only because of the loss of taxpayer assets, but the impairment of the ability of the police to do their job effectively without the equipment that they need.”
The theft also presents a challenge to police to better secure their cars.
“We also have to recognize our own shortcomings in the situation, and how we store our vehicles, how we maintain them, and how we secure them,” Investigator Frank Camp said. “We’ve learned some lessons from that, too.”
It was also a letdown for the police. Rogers has become a fixture, almost family, for the law enforcement community.
“The individual involved is someone who is familiar to us, someone we’ve taken under our wing, someone we care about, and someone we were trying to shepherd in the right direction in life," Camp said.
For years, Rogers has been a local celebrity, known as “the youngest journalist in Rochester." His Geoffery Show Live or The GSL Show has gathered a following on his website and social media. He also routinely shows up to report from crime scenes, making friends with police.
In his court appearance, Rogers pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and what Strollo called “a ton” of traffic violations. He was also charged with menacing and false reporting of an incident for a confrontation after the car theft at a gas station during which he allegedly pointed a BB gun at a man.
Security video from the Exxon at the corner of Portland and Clifford avenues in Rochester shows Rogers pulling into the station at about 4 a.m.
In the video, Rogers is seen going to the counter then getting into a confrontation with a man who follows him to the car. As bystanders watch, the confrontation gets intense for several minutes until the car drives off; Rogers was pulled over shortly afterward.
Rogers was released from the Monroe County Jail without bail to await his next court appearance on Sept. 10.
Camp hopes Rogers can turn himself around after facing the charges.
“I don’t think Geoffery’s story is complete yet,” he said. “Personally, I like Geoffery and I think he… I can’t speculate as to what he allegedly did, but I don’t think Geoffery’s story is complete yet. I think there are more chapters in his life to be written.”
Updated: August 28, 2019 06:41 AM
Created: August 27, 2019 07:33 PM
Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company