Arrests in armed carjackings expected soon, Gates police chief says the focus is on youngsters

Crime

"These kids are hardcore, let me tell you. They're hardcore," says Chief Vanbrederode

GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — Gates Police Chief James Vanbrederode says in the next week or so, they hope to announce arrests when it comes to the string of armed carjackings we’ve seen across Monroe County in recent weeks.

One attempted theft left Richard Sciascia of Irondequoit dead on Buell Road earlier this month.

Chief Vanbrederode says the current focus of the investigation is on “youngsters.” He says too many have too much time on their hands, and adds that he thinks the juvenile justice system needs to be fixed. 

“First of all, we’re making great progress in our investigation,” Vanbrederode told News 8 Tuesday.

The police chief says saying these carjackings are not just limited to a couple of thieves. He says there are multiple groups they’re talking to. 

“I think a lot of them do involve young kids, teenagers, and some young adults,” Vanbrederode said.

The chief says, with these youngsters, they have a streak of “arrogance,” and no one is talking. 

“These kids are hardcore, let me tell you,” Vanbrederode said. “They’re hardcore.”

He says the system is broken with juvenile justice, adding the general spike in violence is a “black eye” for the Rochester region. 

“If you’re going to let them run the streets, then this is exactly what we’re getting,” Vanbrederode said.

He’s wondering if some of these crimes could have been prevented. 

“A lot of kids aren’t going to school, they’re not doing anything,” Vanbrederode said.

The police chief says until the community can get control of crime in the county, everyone needs to remain vigilant. 

“It’s not just carjackings, there’s a lot of violent crime going on right now,” Vanbrederode said. “We’ve got to get the attention of some of these judges here and make sure we’re not just letting every gun arrest walk out the door the next day. The juvenile justice system — we’ve got to evaluate which ones to send home and which ones do we need to put somewhere so they don’t end up ruining their life and killing somebody else. Everyone’s got to step up and contribute more to what we’re doing. The same old, same old of this criminal justice reform just letting everybody go, that is not a good solution.”

Three teens were arrested in Gates on April 11 in a stolen car, with a handgun thrown from the vehicle. Vanbrederode says while this fits the parameters of the carjackings in the county, he says that case is unrelated to Mr. Sciascia’s death and the other thefts. 

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