GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — A man is dead following an armed carjacking attempt in broad daylight Wednesday; the latest in a recent string of violent robberies in Monroe County.
Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode said a 71-year-old Richard M. Sciascia, of Irondequoit was the target of an armed robbery on Buell Road in Gates shortly before 11 a.m. VanBrederode says two suspects attempted to steal his vehicle which led to him being shot.
Sciascia was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where he later died, police said.
“It appears he was an innocent victim of an attempted carjacking where two individuals, one armed with a gun, did shoot the victim,” VanBrederode said. “I can tell you that this is totally unbelievable — just a true brazen act of violence that occurred in broad daylight at 10:45 a.m., which is unacceptable and not something we would typically see here in the Town of Gates, but I think it sends a message to all our communities just how violent our streets are right now.”
Late on Wednesday, a suspect and vehicle were taken to the Gates Police Department Wednesday evening, after a police chase in the City of Rochester.
An update from VanBrederode on Thursday morning reads:
“The black colored sedan with tinted windows we were asking the public to be on the look out for is in our custody after a vehicle chase last night on Danforth St. with members of our Multi Agency Task force. A juvenile was taken into custody and after an investigation, was released.
The public should remain vigilant to their surrounds and remain alert to these on going car jackings.
We continue to ask the public to call in any tips that could assist the police in identifying the suspects in yesterday’s homicide by calling 911 or a special tip line has been set up at Gates Police 429-8275″
“We’re working with all the investigators from the county,” VanBrederode said during Wednesday’s press conference. We’re trying to connect all the dots. That’s one of the problems with crime today is it’s very mobile with cars involved. As you see we have multiple jurisdictions involved from the east side of Monroe County, to the west side, to our inner city area and we’re looking into some of those other counties. That’s what makes this very scary for all of us, it appears to be totally random who they’re picking.”
VanBrederode said they are searching for a black car with tinted windows. He said one of the suspects has been described as a light-skinned Black male, or possibly Hispanic.
“This is a problem until we get this person, these people, in custody — this is a problem,” VanBrederode said.
Full police press conference
VanBrederode said the series or armed carjackings began in Monroe County around March 28, and said the violence has escalated until Wednesday’s fatal shooting. He said he believes these encounters to be connected.
Police say there have been similar incidents in the following areas so far:
“We do have a message for the community that this is a very dangerous situation, and today it was deadly,” VanBrederode said. “You got to be aware of your surroundings — this could be any one of us. If somebody is approaching your vehicle, or trying to stop you, or you think you’re rear ended — call 911.”
VanBrederode say there have been 14 stolen vehicles in Monroe County over the past weeks, adding that the incidents seem random in nature. He said police have observed three different techniques used by the suspects.
“Some victims have just been driving down the road, and they feel a little bump, right?” VanBrederode said. “They get rear-ended by the car behind them, you then pull over because you think you’ve been in an accident and the people come out and try to get you out of your car. Another technique they’ve been using: They might pull in front of you while you’re stopped at a red light or something, blocking you in so you can’t get out, and then they approach you on foot. A third technique we’ve seen is they might follow you home from somewhere to your driveway and then approach you in your driveway.”
The police chief said if this happens to you, it’s best to just surrender your vehicle.
“Please, if they do try to steal your car, just get out of the car and give them the car,” VanBrederode said. “That is one of the most important messages today. Just give up the car, because we see what happens if you don’t give up the car, or if there’s some sort of struggle. Give the car up and we’ll work on getting your car back.”
Greece Police Department officials send a warning to the public about a pattern of car theft at gunpoint in the community Wednesday morning.
“Over the last several weeks there have been numerous instances of vehicles being stolen at gunpoint throughout Monroe County,” Greece police said in a Wednesday press release. “These crimes are typically occurring in the evening or early night time hours.”
According to Greece police officials, the crimes occurred in the evening or early night time hours.
Police say thieves are operating with two typical patterns of robbery:
- The thieves will rear end the target vehicle at low speeds and wait for the victim to exit the vehicle. They will then approach the victim and rob them for their vehicle at gun point. If you are involved in a situation described above, you should remain in your vehicle with the doors locked, call 911 immediately and if possible, leave the location for a public place or police station to seek assistance.
- The thieves will follow the victim to their destination (sometimes their home or other location) and will wait for the victim to exit their vehicle. They will then approach them on foot and rob them for their vehicle at gunpoint. Please pay close attention to your surroundings. If you feel you are being followed or feel there is a potential threat in your vicinity, you should consider driving to a public area or police station rather than to your home. You should remain in your vehicle with the doors locked and call 911 immediately.
News 8 WROC will provide updates as they becomes available.