Senate Passes Kennedy, Jacobs Sponsored Bill Cracking Down on Car Break-In Offenders Across New York State

Timothy M. Kennedy

June 21, 2017

On Final Day of Legislative Session, Senate Takes Steps to Increase Punishments for Criminals Responsible for “Car Popping”

With More than 3,800 Car Break-Ins Reported in Buffalo in the Past Two Years, Bill’s Passage Sends Strong Message to Offenders: You Will Be Held Accountable

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) and Senator Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo) announced the passage of S.6504 today, which increases punishments for offenders responsible for car break-ins across Western New York and New York State. The bill would elevate the charge associated with vehicle break-ins, changing it from a misdemeanor to a felony. Kennedy and Jacobs penned the legislation in partnership with Erie County Legislator Peter Savage, who noted that many residents in his district are the victims of repeat offenders.

“These offenses have become all too common, with neighbors often waking up to find car windows and windshields smashed in and personal identification and belongings nowhere to be found. But it’s not just the physical possessions that are gone; after seeing this violation, an underlying sense of safety and well-being disappears just as quickly,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “New Yorkers deserve to have their safety prioritized, and this bill seeks to do just that. By changing this offense from a misdemeanor to a felony, New York State will be sending a strong message: there will be serious consequences for your actions.”

“I have no doubt that the leniency with which these car pops are prosecuted contributes to the frequency that they occur and the growing number of repeat offenders,” said Senator Chris Jacobs. “Elevating these crimes to felonies provides additional tools for law enforcement, and will serve as a deterrent to the perpetrators who invade our privacy and steal our quality of life.”

“I am very pleased the New York State Senate has passed my proposed car pop legislation,” said Erie County Legislator Peter Savage. “I wish to thank Senators Kennedy and Jacobs for their strong leadership in addressing this very important quality of life measure.”

The bill now moves to the Assembly. If signed into law, it would take effect immediately.