Petty criminals are getting younger

Published 11:09 pm Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday, a 17-year-old male allegedly broke into a Lapsley Street home to steal some electronics. He was reportedly spotted and then ultimately ran from police.

As police chased the suspect, they made their way through portions of the Icehouse District and Old Town.

The chase finally came to an end with the suspect cornered on top of a house on Pettus Street with one officer standing behind him and five others waiting for him on the ground.

Email newsletter signup

As he made his way down the ladder, he began to ask the officers, “How do you know I did something?” Or, “How did you know it was me?”

Well, let’s count the reasons. First, you, Mr. Suspect, were perched on top of a home that was not yours nor were you doing any roof-related work you were hired for by the homeowner.

And, two, you were spotted and chased. Normally, innocent individuals don’t run from the police.This odd event, sadly, is growing increasingly less odd. It is becoming a weekly event — if not daily — that police are having to chase, and otherwise wrangle, suspects, many of whom are getting younger and younger.

It is a disturbing vision to see young men — or women — with all the potential in the world and their future ahead of them, ruin it by committing petty crimes.

And, in some cases, these petty criminals seem to constantly find their way into bigger crimes and more severe charges.

The cycle has got to be broken. Instead of being arrested on top of a home and worrying about facing burglary charges, he should be in school, worried about an upcoming exam or who to ask to prom. The challenge we have is to ensure the future of our city, our county and our region is not lost to gangs, crimes and poor choices. A tough task to say the least.