State bill would make being in a stolen car a bail-eligible offense for adults

State bill would make being in a stolen car a bail-eligible offense for adults

State bill would make being in a stolen car a bail-eligible offense for adults

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – When we cover stolen cars, and we’ve done that a lot this year, the frustration we hear is that there is no consequence for the people caught in the stolen cars.     

On Friday we looked into an idea that addresses that. The idea is to make possession of stolen property above $1,000, a bail-eligible offense. Right now, you get a ticket.

It’s a bill in the state and the author is Senator Jeremy Cooney.

“I want to be very clear. This change in no way requires the assignment of bail,” Cooney said at a news conference in Corn Hill. “It simply provides local judges with the option to set that at their discretion based on the circumstances of the accused.”

Cooney says it only applies to people 18 and older.

“This is not talking about children. We’re not locking up children. Children don’t belong in jails. We’re not going backwards,” he said. “What we’re doing is sending a message that for adults who commit these crimes, that there is a consequence, not just an appearance ticket, but you’re going to have to make your case before a local judge.”

Senator Cooney was flanked by all kind of pastors, neighborhood leaders and business owners. They talked about their neighbors and parishioners getting their cars stolen when they’re at home, at work or in the middle of prayer.

Ida Perez from IBERO was asked to speak and she talked about her staff and clients who had their cars stolen from their parking lot.

Brean: “When I talk to people about this problem, one of the things they always say is that they’re frustrated that there’s no consequences for this bad behavior. I hear that over and over again.”

Perez: “And for us, I think we were targeted by the same people. The same people were coming and committing these crimes. I think they learned the patterns of our staff. And they did it because there are no consequences. Even if they got caught, they would get an appearance ticket. They can go right back and go somewhere else and then come back to us again.”

So the question is, will this work?

The average age of a person caught in a stolen car by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Stolen Car Task force is 17.

So, if this idea was in place right now, about half of the people arrested would face the prospect of bail and jail until they posted it.

Click here to vote on Senate bill 7715.

2023-S7715Authorizes the court where there is criminal possession of stolen property to, in its discretion release the principal pending trial on the principal's own recognizance or under non-monetary conditions, fix bail, or order non-monetary conditions in conjunction with fixing bail, or, where the defendant is charged with a qualifying offense which is a felony, the court may commit the principal to the custody of the sheriff; makes related

The state legislative session starts in January.