Drivers concerned to park in East End Garage after 50 cars broken into

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Finding a safe place to park in downtown Rochester has become a challenge.

As News10NBC has been reporting, more than 50 cars were broken into overnight — most of them at the East End Garage. 

There’s just an overall sense of helplessness among drivers News10NBC’s Bret Vetter spoke with Thursday. Many parking in the garage either out of necessity for work or because they live nearby. One driver says his car was among the 30 broken into here overnight.

After finding both his car windows shattered Thursday morning, Aaron Schirano says he’s just happy to be alive.

“Fortunately, I was one of the lucky victims,” says Schirano. “Luckily nothing was taken from my car. But they smash both my driver side windows.”

As an early riser, Schirano says he’s usually one of the first people heading into the East End Garage to head to work.

“There were several other cars that had it worse than me,” he says. “People lost some stuff. I saw peoples personal affects, like the drive area or along inside their cars. Like I said — I got lucky just losing my windows.”

Others like Adam Crane say he only uses the East End Garage occasionally. But with all of the car thefts and break-ins happening, he doesn’t feel comfortable. Especially given the lack of security and lighting inside.

“Pulling in, it’s definitely like a dark garage,” says Crane. “It’s definitely somewhere like where we had reservations of actually parking here. That does come with parking garages in general. But with all of the news of the car thefts and everything, it’s definitely not the ideal place.”

The City of Rochester owns the garage. News10NBC took concerns of people who use the garage to the mayor. 

“The City makes available guards as necessary, and I think in many of these instances we have to be preventative and in making sure that we deal with the perpetrators before they even have the ability to go into an East End Garage or any property and do that,” explains Rochester Mayor Malik Evans.

But whether you add more lighting, security guards, or cameras, Schirano says a deeper problem exists that cannot be fixed with a light bulb or a squad car.

“We do need our senators and other politicians to be like, ‘hey there is a hole in the system’ especially when it comes to the justice system. Some these guys are repeat offenders. They get out. They do it again. They don’t learn a lesson,” says Schirano.