ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local teenager and aspiring journalist Geoffrey Rodgers was arraigned in Rochester City Court Tuesday morning. Rogers and an unidentified 13-year-old were arrested for stealing an unmarked RPD car.
Rogers, 17, was charged with grand larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, menacing, and was issued several citations. The 13-year-old was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle as a juvenile.
According to court paperwork, several people reported seeing a car driving erratically on Rochester’s northeast side on Monday morning. While police were investigating the reports, they learned that the two teenagers had stolen the unmarked police car after breaking into the Mt. Read Garage where the car was parked. Police say the car was there because it had recently been serviced.
Nexstar contributor WROC has learned Rogers allegedly pointed a BB gun at a man at a gas station while he was driving the stolen car around the city.
Several hours later, police caught up with the two teens and the car near Peter’s Place and they were both arrested.
Two days before Rogers was arrested he tweeted Chief Police La’Ron Singletary. He asked to use police cars and officers. He was making a commercial for his self-produced news show.
“I am not sure what he wanted to do with the car,” said Singletary. “I was not aware of the tweet until after the incident.”
Less than an hour after Rogers stole the car he posted on Facebook that he needed jumper cables.
Investigator Frank Camp of the Rochester Police Department says he knows the teen. He believes it is a mistake Rogers regrets.
“I know Geoffrey personally,” said Camp. “I like Geoffrey. I think this is an issue that Geoffrey has to face. I think he can come through this gracefully. I don’t think his story is over yet. There is another chapter in his life. This is a serious matter that needs to be addressed. But it is certainly something someone can recover from.”
Rogers pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is due back in court next month. The 13-year-old’s case will be handled in juvenile court.
Rogers is known to local media outlets and the Rochester community for his coverage of events and crime in the area. He posts the material on social media.