News10NBC Investigates: The hunt for stolen cars in the old subway tunnel

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — News10NBC has gone deep into the old Rochester subway looking for stolen cars.

What started the search was a series of Facebook photos posted and shared with us Thursday that show what appear to be stolen Kias inside the subway tunnel. We’ve had such a problem with stolen cars that we decided to go look for them.

Most of the time what we find with stolen cars is that they’re abandoned on the side of the street or they’re crashed. But we received three photographs showing what appear to be stolen cars deep inside the old Rochester subway. So today we decided to go into the tunnel to look for them and take you with us.

The entrance is west of downtown.

It is a walk into Rochester’s past searching for one of the present-day problems. More than 3,000 cars have been stolen in the city this year.

The farther we went, the darker it got.

I wondered about the photos, if they were legitimate and if people actually drive cars down here — and then I started seeing some evidence.

“Got an old set of tires here,” I said. “Still no sight of any cars.”

But there are car parts everywhere; broken rear view mirrors, front panels, more tires and tire tracks.

“So we have tire tracks right here,” I said. “Several of them, several hundred yards into the subway and continue this way.”

Eventually we ran into a Jet Ski.

“So we found an old Jet Ski and now we’ve come across an old boat,” I said.

Still no cars.

We walked through the dark for what felt like four football fields. We looked at the photos again and the graffiti and Jet Ski helped pinpoint the possible location.

When we zoomed in we saw the cars right next to a Jet Ski that’s buried in the subway. There were no cars left so at some point since the photos were taken, someone either drove the cars out of here or someone came in and towed them out.

I shared the photos with Rochester police and described our search. RPD says they have no record of towing stolen Kias from the subway. RPD thinks they might have been driven out.

Finding no cars, we walked out of the subway and back into the daylight.

One of the reasons that apparent stolen cars and vehicles towing Jet Skis and boats can get into the old subway is that the gate blocking the entrance from the road is open. We contacted the city, and the mayor’s office says it’s getting the gate re-secured.