ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday unveiled a plan aimed at stopping car thieves in their tracks.
It's in response to the skyrocketing problem of the thefts of Kias and Hyundais triggered by a TikTok challenge.
Now the governor and her team are trying reign in the out of control and dangerous problem.
“And to all the car thieves out there, I have one message: you've reached the end of your road," said Hochul.
To make that happen, Hochul introduced her plan at Rochester’s Public Safety Building.
"Two-thirds of the state's car thefts happen in two cities alone,” she said. “Think about that. Two thirds of all the state's cars thefts [are] happening in two cities: Buffalo and Rochester. And the thieves go on to commit other crimes, as well.”
There are five parts to the plan.
“It includes prevention, enforcement, prosecution, consumer protection and awareness," said Hochul.
First, the governor announced a $50 million state investment to equip local law enforcement with new technology — $5 million of that is slated for Monroe County and $5 million for Erie and Niagara counties.
“Now they'll be able to apply for funding for cutting-edge tools, surveillance cameras can make a difference, to gunshot detection devices that will go a long way in aiding investigations and ultimately prosecution," said Hochul.
The governor is also directing the State Police to ramp up enforcement.
The plan includes efforts to strengthen prosecutions.
It also kicks off an increase in public awareness with a public awareness campaign.
“And I expect just like we saw with shootings and murders, which have gone down with a concentrated effort, we will see a dramatic change in these steps over the next six months. That is my expectation," said Hochul.
As part of that campaign, the governor said 440,000 Kia and Hyundai owners received a letter on Friday alerting them about the threat of thefts, and giving them information on what they can do to help prevent their car from being stolen.
Car owners are even being sent a red sticker that tells criminals, “This vehicle is equipped with Kia Anti-Theft Logic," to place on their vehicles.