RPD say they arrested North Winton Village serial porch thief several times
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — We shared a video showing an angry homeowner fed up with one man trying to get into their cars and steal packages off their porches.
Now we take their questions to the police and we ask: Why can’t they just arrest the man for all of the thefts and mischief caught on video?
It’s complicated because the man in the video has serious mental health problems and in most cases, the homeowners get their package re-delivered so they’re made whole quickly.
And police say because of those factors, homeowners typically don’t want to press charges.
In video after video, a 24-year-old man is seen in the city neighborhood called North Winton Village, trying to get into cars, and he’s caught stealing packages left outside front doors.
Last week, Kelly Rodriguez reached her limit when she saw the man on her ring camera again.
“Hey!” she yelled. “The police are coming for you!”
Brean: “What were you thinking?”
Kelly Rodriguez: “Number one — he woke me up. It was in the middle of the night. I was frustrated and tired and I just wanted him out of the neighborhood and that was the first thing I thought.”
“We’ve arrested him at least twice,” RPD Lt. Greg Bello said.
I took the homeowner’s concerns to the RPD. In addition to arresting the man twice, RPD says they took him to mental health treatment twice. What appear in the videos are low-level crimes and not jailable.
And despite the multiple arrests, video from August 1 shows more packages and property stolen.
Brean: “Do police find in these situations that if the homeowner gets a new package delivered to their home, they’re less likely to want to press charges?”
Lt. Greg Bello, RPD: “Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. For whatever reason, whether they get their package replaced or whatever reasons, whether it be his mental health condition, they’ve chosen not to move forward with prosecution on it.”
Brean: “Why can’t you just arrest him for these crimes? He’s on video stealing the packages.”
Bello: “Without somebody going on paper as the victim of that crime, it makes the prosecution very tough because you would need the victim to say ‘that’s my property’ and I did not give him permission to take my property.”
I checked with the RPD, the Police Accountability Board and the state departments of justice and health.
None of them track or publish the number of mental health detentions police in New York make.
We also asked the Office of Mental Health.
I texted with Rodriguez today. She says she has not seen the man in the video return since her outburst and our story last week.