Mayor Evans announces plan to address stolen cars, smash-and-grab robberies

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. A liquor store is the latest business to be hit early Thursday morning.

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, public safety was at the top of the agenda. Mayor Evans says his office has been inundated with calls from people who have had their cars stolen and are asking what is he going to do about this. The mayor announced Thursday he has a plan in place

Captain Brian Marone with RPD says they are dealing with a car theft trend with Kias and Hyundais. He explains that it started last summer but it hit Rochester in November and it’s been on the rise ever since. Out of the 374 cars stolen this year 200 of them have been Hyundais and Kias.

So whether it’s a Kia or Hyundai experienced a smashed window, damaged ignition and the vehicle has been stolen. Of those 300 have been recovered and returned to the owners

Marone says one of the challenges they face is a revolving door of repeat offenders. 

Marone: “A 14-year-old youth unfortunately on Jan. 14 arrested for the robbery of a vehicle I believe that was on East Main Street using force stole a vehicle from another person. Fortunately, our officers are doing a good job out there working. They took him into custody. He was detained. The next day he is released in the morning by 11 a.m. NYSP arrest him in another stolen vehicle.”

Mayor Malik Evans says the growing theft with Kias and Hyundais is not a quick fix but what they do know is there are some preventive measures that can be taken, starting with anti-theft clubs like these handed by Irondequoit police. RPD will also be handing out some soon. This is something that will take a multi-prong approach. 

Evans: “There’s not one thing we can do to stop the car thefts. We gotta go about this in multiple angles.”

Secondly, the mayor says we need to keep young people engaged and we need Kia and Hyundai to help fix the problem and update their technology to prevent these cars from being stolen so easily. 

Evans: “That fix I believe it’s sometime in March. They are supposed to be having individuals come in and get those cars fixed.”

Evans also added they have plans to make administrative changes so people whose cars are stolen won’t be charged a daily rate while their car is in the impound. He says they shouldn’t be punished twice.