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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation: Stealing cars, breaking into houses

Well steal your stuff!
  • "We'll steal your stuff!"
Kids in a couple of southwest Atlanta neighborhoods must be getting bored with summer break.

Zone 4 commander Rodney Bryant sent out a web alert informing residents of the Princeton Lake and Deerwood neighborhoods that several arrests had been made in a string of recent burglaries. In more than half the incidents, juveniles were involved, some as young as eight years old.

Here's three they're investigating currently:
— On June 19, police caught an 8 year old and a 10 year old cleaning out a house on Star Mist Drive. According to police, "both juveniles advised that they had not broken into the home but found it open and were taking things from inside. The juveniles advised that they had taken 3 televisions, a bed, a dresser, a coffee table and several bags of clothing. The juveniles agreed to return the stolen property." At least they were honest? They also pointed cops toward three teenagers — 13, 15 and 16 — who were responsible for the initial break-in.

— On July 26, an Abbey Drive resident reported to police that his Wii and laptop had been stolen. A few days later, he found his Wii at a pawn shop in East Point. Turns out the person who pawned it was a 12 year old who got a whopping $31.20 for it. (An aside: are kids allowed to pawn things?)

— On June 30, a Harwell Road resident caught an 8 year old and a 14 year old (ages approximate) attempting to steal his car. When he walked outside both boys ran. The suspects haven't been located.

APD spokesman Carlos Campos sent out the following statement this afternoon:

“The Atlanta Police Department is investigating three recent crimes involving very young offenders. While we often deal with juvenile crime, it is rare for someone as young as 8 years old to be involved in criminal activity. Our officers typically begin to encounter juveniles between the ages of 13 and 16. To see juveniles this young involved in criminal activity is certainly alarming. But we do not consider this a growing trend at this time; these appear to be out of the ordinary. We will continue to work closely with our School Detectives Unit as school starts soon, to ensure school-aged children are where they are supposed to be during the day. Further, we will continue to enforce curfew laws to ensure juveniles are accounted for late at night.”

Good thing school's about to start again, huh?

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