News10NBC In-Depth: Chili woman confronts teen accused of stealing her car
CHILI, N.Y. – Chief investigative Berkeley Brean has done a lot of stolen car stories, but they’ve never gone like this.
Barbara Wise is one of the nearly 4,000 people in Monroe County whose cars were stolen this year.
“I know it’s only a car, but it’s still my car,” she said.
She was the guest of Sheriff Todd Baxter to talk about stolen cars and share her story.
After Wise’s car was stolen, it was found totaled in Irondequoit. She used the police report to track down the 15-year-old arrested for doing it. When she went to his house, the mother answered the door.
“She goes, ‘Who are you?'” Wise recalls. “‘Well, I’m the woman that your son stole the car.'”
Wise says they talked for a long time.
“I felt really bad because she said he’s impossible or hard to control. And then after I left I felt bad for her and the family,” she says.
Then she called the 15-year-old. The tone was different.
“I go, ‘Why aren’t you in school?’ He said, ‘It’s not your business, okay lady? I don’t even know who you are.’ Well I go – I didn’t threaten him, but I just said, ‘What goes around, comes around.'”
In Rochester Friday, police chased two teenagers who carjacked a victim at the YMCA of Greater Rochester branch on Driving Park Avenue. As News10NBC’s Brean ran to the scene, he saw police arrest the boy. Police say he and a girl ditched the car the next block over.
There, he met Robert Siplin, who was walking his dog.
“I’m 50 years old, you know what I’m saying? So it don’t make no sense for stealing people’s stuff and I don’t even understand it,” he said.
This was his plea to the community.
“So I’m telling these kids, I hope the parents hear this, stop doing that. Stop stealing cars and live a life. Get a job and live a good life,” he said.
One of the things we learned from the sheriff is that the 16- and 17-year-olds they’ve arrested for stolen cars were charged with misdemeanors, even though what they’re accused of doing was a felony.
If they charged them with a felony, the state bail law gets them released with a ticket. A misdemeanor keeps them in custody and hooked up with intervention. So, they intentionally undercharge them – but the result is they haven’t rearrested the same teenager again.