More vandalized cars — “When will this madness end?”

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — More than a dozen people woke up Tuesday morning to find the windows in their car, truck or SUV smashed. The worst damage we found was behind and in front of three apartment buildings on East Avenue.

When we posted the photos and video on social media, a couple of people responded wondering “when this madness is going to end?”

Another follower started crunching the numbers and figured the cost to the victims and our community is more than $20 million.

“Glass all over the ground and smashed out over here,” said one victim on East Avenue.

He asked me not to show his face or use his name as he showed me the damage to his car. The passenger window was completely shattered.

His was one of 10 cars, trucks and SUVs vandalized behind his apartment.

“Someone said they saw four young kids come out and put on masks and smashed cars,” he said. “That was it.”

I found three cars targeted in front of the apartment next door.

I found the same damage to dozens of cars in the Park Ave neighborhood last week.

And the University of Rochester says up to six cars were broken into on Wilson Boulevard over the weekend.

This is the latest wave in crimes involving people’s cars.

It started with carjacking two years ago, then stolen cars to smash into buildings to steal merchandise and ATM machines, then stolen cars to simply race through the county.

And now vandalism.

Brean: “You estimate the total cost of all this vandalism and all these car thefts to be what?”
Eric Britt, finance expert: “Well I could see costs being somewhere between $20 million and $25 million for the county.”

Eric Britt works in finance in Rochester.

Brean: “And how do you get to that figure?”
Britt: “Well, I first started following the stories; I was doing back-of-the-envelope calculations.”

He found a story that found the total cost for every stolen car is roughly $9,000.
That’s the cost of things like repairs, police work and paid time off the victims have to use.

And with all the car thefts and vandalism in our community “you get to 27 million dollars just on that alone,” Britt said. “There’s so much our community could do with that money spent somewhere else.”

Because of the shooting involving a police officer, RPD was unable to run reports to get a total on the amount of vandalism overnight. But when they did it last week in Park Avenue, they found 36 cars, trucks and SUV’s smashed in one night.

There is no database for the entire county but just in the city, there have been 3,218 cars stolen this year.