Rochester Leads in Reduced Murders, Shootings but Faces Steep Increase in Car Thefts, Study Finds

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — According to a recent study, Rochester has experienced a significant reduction in murders and shootings, but it now leads in the increase of stolen cars among 34 major American cities. The study analyzed crime trends over the past few years and found that while Rochester has seen a 32 percent decrease in homicides, it has also experienced a 248 percent increase in car thefts, the highest among the cities studied.

The author of the report, Ernesto Lopez, described the situation in Rochester as unique, as these crimes usually tend to occur together. Lopez, who co-authored the crime trend report by the Council on Criminal Justice, expressed surprise at the opposite trends seen in Rochester.

The study also found that Buffalo is following closely behind Rochester in the increase of stolen cars. According to Lopez, it seems that the wave of car thefts has shifted to this part of the country.

Rochester’s Mayor, Malik Evans, acknowledged the decrease in murders and shootings, attributing it to the city’s strategy of suppression, intervention, and prevention. He stated that these results are a reflection of the success of their approach.

Despite the positive news on the reduction of violent crimes, the city is still grappling with the rise in car thefts. Although the number of stolen cars has decreased in January 2024 compared to the previous year, it remains significantly higher than pre-COVID levels.

The Rochester Police Department reported 3,934 stolen cars in the city last year, averaging 327 per month. However, the city is currently on track for a significantly lower number in 2024, indicating a positive trend in the fight against car thefts. However, the current number is still substantially higher than the average before the pandemic.

This contrasting trend in crime rates presents a complex challenge for authorities in Rochester, requiring a multi-faceted approach to address both the decrease in violent crimes and the surge in car thefts.