GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode says if you find yourself as the target of an armed carjacking, you should surrender your vehicle.
This comes after a 71-year-old Irondequoit man was shot and killed during an armed carjacking attempt in Gates Wednesday morning.
Chief VanBrederode said Wednesday morning’s incident was the latest in a string of recent crimes that he said police believe are connected. He said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference that there have been 14 vehicles stolen in Monroe County since March 28, with each encounter becoming more violent — culminating in Wednesday’s fatal shooting.
“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.”
Chief VanBrederode similar incidents have occurred in Greece, Webster, Irondequoit, Ogden, and the City of Rochester.
He said the carjackings seem to be random in nature, and that the suspects follow a few certain patterns.
“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 Gates Police Chief said there are no suspects in custody at this time, and anyone with information is asked to call 911.
“We’re working with all the investigators from the county,” VanBrederode said. “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.