Rochester, N.Y. - A string of robberies and car thefts in three city neighborhoods have police warning residents, businesses, and visitors.
In the last three weeks police report eight strong-armed robberies where the suspects threatened the use of a weapon. They also report eight car thefts where the suspects have targeted Honda vehicles.
The crimes occur between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
The neighborhoods affected are all popular entertainment districts; the South Wedge, Monroe Avenue corridor, and East End.
The police warning is particularly noteworthy given the hundreds of thousands of visitors to these areas over the next week for the Jazz Festival.
"Things that don't look right, trust your instincts and act on them call 911 that way we can get there and take care of things," Rochester Police Sergeant Justin Collins said. "One of our jobs is to inform the community, let them know so again they keep themselves safe."
"I think it's very important to spread awareness," Kyleigh, a visitor to many of these areas said. "I had not heard of it but I know for a fact that it's very important to always take caution, to always think about being safe and I just know that wherever I am later at night I always use the buddy system simply having a buddy with you, a couple of friends."
"I'm used to being and living in an urban setting so I just always try to be aware of my surroundings and be aware of the people that are around me and make eye contact with people," Reed Chamberlin an Eastman School of Music said. "Try to walk with a little bit of purpose."
Police recommend walking in pairs or small groups so there are more eyes to watch what is going.
As for the car thefts it comes down to locking doors, using alarm systems if you have them, and keeping valuables out of plain view.
Why Honda's you ask? Police tell 13WHAM News that the thieves are after certain engine parts that are easy to remove, easy to re-sell, and also easy to scrap for their valuable metals. Older model Honda's without security or alarm features are the most targeted.