ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Within the past few weeks, several different businesses in the city of Rochester and its suburbs have experienced an increase in smash and grabs.

One of the most recent took place in Macedon at Filer’s Powersports where several suspects crashed into the side garage door of the building and stole dirt bikes along with additional merchandise, which according to the store manager resulted in between $70k to $80k in stolen products on top of $60k worth of damage.

Amit Batabyal, Professor of Economics at RIT, noticed a trend of these crimes relating mainly to the youth and gives his thoughts on why this may be happening.

“A sense of hopelessness amongst certain segments of our society. Many of them unfortunately are a few younger people who apparently see no better prospects in the immediate future for their lives than to engage in this kind of smash-and-grab activity,” says Batabyal.

He adds that social media apps like TikTok also play a role. He explains it performs as a manual to show how to steal cars like Kia’s and Hyundais to then commit these crimes.

President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Bob Duffy, suggests that moves be made by our legislators to help put an end to this.

“I would expect that our legislators in Albany as they look to laws and debate back and forth aside from listening to the very loud voices of certain advocates. They should come, get in their cars, drive to Rochester, come and see these businesses, take a look at what the devastation is, take a look at what happens when someone loses inventory, has cars stolen, motorcycles, motorbikes stolen, cash registers, food, things they have spent a big part of their life saving up to support their families and their employees and see what this devastation is. I think we all can agree, we can do better,” says Duffy.

Duffy says the continuation of these acts is a result of no consequences and doesn’t just affect the business owners impacted but everyone in the surrounding area.