Rochester Police tracking recent trend of carjackings

RPD tracking trend of carjackings

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Just when we thought we were done with the scourge of stealing cars, the trend is back.

But there is one major difference: Police say the problem isn’t people breaking into and stealing an empty, parked car. These thefts are with people inside the car and almost always at gunpoint.

The most recent was Sunday night on Oliver Street, a neighborhood street that runs between East and University avenues. the stolen car was found on Champlain Street, on the west side of the river. It was spotted by a New York State Trooper working this carjacking detail.

The Rochester Police Department says it has tracked 20 carjackings in the last two months.

Berkeley Brean: Are these car thefts different than the ones we saw at the beginning of the year which targeted Hyundais and KIAs?
Capt. Greg Bello, RPD: Yes — so Hyundais and KIAs, those weren’t robberies or carjackings. Those were breaking out windows and stealing the car off the street. These are with a victim involved where we have a robbery now where someone is being threatened with a handgun.
Brean: Why do you think it’s happening right now?
Capt. Greg Bello, RPD: Unfortunately, it’s a trend that has popped up in years past as well around holiday seasons. I don’t have a rhyme or reason for it, but it’s certainly a frustration we unfortunately deal with, and hopefully as the season goes on we’ll be able to hold more and more offenders accountable.

The RPD says it has already made more than six arrests, including one over the weekend. Most of those arrested are teenagers. With the exception of the weekend arrest, all of the suspects are out of custody — but none have been re-arrested.

RPD wants you to remember three things:

  1. Park where it is well lit.
  2. Walk to your car with at least one other person. A group is even better.
  3. Be aware. Don’t sit in your car scrolling through social media.