ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Sheriff gave an update on the “Stolen Vehicle Task Force” during a press conference Thursday.
The task force, created to prevent the theft of vehicles, says that its strategy to use multiple groups with varying expertise is helping but not yet as much as they’d like.
According to task force investigator James Coco, the detail does its rounds as the need arises and when there is enough manpower, which is usually every week or two. He says that the vast majority of cars are stolen by minors, and that they are later used to commit more crime.
“A lot of stolen vehicles are used in shootings, they’re used in other larcenies, they’re using stolen vehicles to steal additional stolen vehicles,” said Coco.
The detail works with Federal agents, state troopers, and the department of motor vehicles in an effort to bring together multi-jurisdictional enforcement and expertise.
They work by driving around Rochester using unmarked police cars and calling in suspected stolen vehicles, like those with smashed windows. Yet still, there have been nearly 4,000 car thefts since the beginning of this year.
One victim of car theft spoke at the conference. She went through weeks of stress dealing with the ramifications, her car was totaled and her belongings missing. She says that her neighbor saw her car at midnight and by 6 a.m., it was gone.
“I felt violated. I know it’s only a car but it’s still my car. It’s something I worked hard for.”
During an interview with News 8 earlier this week, Sheriff Baxter said that what is really necessary is clean legislation with clear law, so officers can proceed in a way that may deter repeat offenders, because current methods aren’t working.
“My job is her. My job is to keep her safe, keep her safe, she’s the vulnerable one in the story, right? And we’re not doing a good job of that. Not when we’ve got 4000. We got to say we’re failing,” said Sheriff Baxter.
Sheriff Baxter says that the task force is working on investigating known car thieves and target areas to improve progress.