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Friday, April 9, 2021

Some are Armed and Dangerous:
Monroe County carjackings turn fatal; prompt warnings to all motorists

A recent wave of carjackings throughout Monroe County took a fatal turn Wednesday, with a 71-year-old man shot to death. More than a dozen carjackings, some violent, have been reported throughout Monroe County, including several on the west side, including Gates and Ogden. That has local police concerned.

“It’s always a concern with us bordering Monroe,” Genesee Undersheriff Bradley Mazur said. “Our patrols are being extra vigilant. We haven’t had any reported carjackings but there have been a few thefts.” Many GLOW-region residents frequently travel to Monroe, for work or pleasure. Police in Monroe have issued several alerts to residents, warning them of a gang of carjackers.

Wednesday, Richard M. Sciascia, 71, of Irondequoit was driving on Buell Road in Gates, about 20 minutes from Bergen, when his car was stolen. He was shot in the torso and later died at a hospital. His car was recovered in Rochester. The shooting happened at 10:45 in the morning. Just five hours earlier, Greece Police Department issued an alert to residents with the following tips:

“Over the last several weeks there have been numerous instances of vehicles being stolen at gunpoint throughout Monroe County. These crimes are typically occurring in the evening or early night time hours. The thieves are operating with two typical patterns of robbery and they are as follows:

"1) 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 gunpoint.

"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.

"2) 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.”

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty warned residents this week about recent car thefts in the county by a group of suspects that is escalating in their actions and should be considered “very dangerous.” On Thursday, Dougherty told The Livingston County News that investigators “believe it is the same group of suspects” involved in the car thefts that have been involved in the carjackings.

There has not been violence in the two car theft incidents, Dougherty said. At least two incidents have occurred in Livingston County during the past several months, Dougherty said.

The first occurrence was in the town of Caledonia, the second in the town of Geneseo. In both instances the owners of the vehicle posted their car for sale on Facebook Marketplace. The group of suspects then responded to the ad and set up a meet with the person selling the vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said.

On the first occurrence the owner of the vehicle met with the group of suspects at his home and then rode in the vehicle for the test drive. The group of suspects then stopped roadside and asked him to step to the back of the vehicle to look at an issue. The owner of the vehicle was then left roadside, Dougherty said.

In the second occurrence, the owner of the vehicle met with the group of suspects at their home and ultimately allowed the group to take the car for a test drive, at which time they never returned, Dougherty said.

Individuals with information on these incidents or suspects, may call the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office at (585) 243-7100 or (844)-LCSO-TIP. Tips may also be left on the Sheriff’s Office website at www.livingstoncounty.us/sheriff under the “Take Action” tab.

Dougherty encouraged residents involved in transactions, such as selling their vehicle to an unknown person, use the “safe transaction zone” located outside the Sheriff’s Office, 4 Court St., Geneseo. The space is designed for such exchanges, is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The zone, which was created in 2015, is monitored by video at all hours.

Those using the zone may also call into the Sheriff’s Office at (585) 243-7100 and ask for a deputy to step outside and monitor the transaction in person.

Regional Editor Ben Beagle contributed to this report.
Courtesy of Livingston County News and Daily News

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