Senate Passes Bill to Toughen Carjacking Penalties When a Child is Inside the Vehicle

March 14, 2014

The New York State Senate this week passed legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos, that would increase criminal penalties for carjacking when a child under the age of 16 is present in the vehicle. The bill (S1905), would make it a class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.   

“Thefts of this nature expose children to trauma that can have profound and long-lasting impacts. They’re at risk of being physically harmed, either at the hands of the carjacker, by a stranger if the car is abandoned, or during a police chase,” Senator Skelos said. “This bill would give prosecutors greater power to punish any criminal who risks the life of a child as part of a carjacking.”

Last year, a woman and her 10-year-old daughter were abducted in a carjacking in the Syracuse suburb of Clay, Onondaga County. The mother was fatally stabbed, and the child escaped the vehicle, after being raped. In July, David J. Renz pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and predatory sexual assault against a child. 

The bill was sent to the Assembly.