The Disturbing Trend of Young Burglars

The Disturbing Trend of Young Burglars – Some as Young as 12


Apr 30, 2019

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The Disturbing Trend of Young Burglars

Across the country the school year is winding down and kids of every age group are no doubt looking forward to a long and relaxing summer. For some though, the warm months will not be spent at a park or camp but in a jail cell or courtroom. Recently, a rash of residential and commercial burglaries hit the news and caused a stir, not for the act – break-ins are unfortunately very common – but instead for their perpetrators. Kids, some as young as 12, have made headlines recently for targeting homes and stores in the hopes of snagging cash and valuables.

Less than a month ago a group of teens, ranging from 15 to 17 years old, was charged with burglary and trespassing after a passerby witnessed one member of the group throw a brick through the window of a shop in order to gain access. Police arrived to find the teens still inside the building. The ringleader maintained that there was no prior plan to target that particular location.

Another opportunistic teen noticed an elderly man leave his front door open to grab the mail from his nearby box. Impulsively running inside, the young high-schooler pocketed the man’s wallet before being surprised by his quick return. Startled, the youngster attacked the man, who was seriously injured. Police managed to capture the criminal as he fled the scene.

Just last week, a group of boys – two of whom were only 12 – were caught breaking into a store shortly after it closed for the evening. The shop’s owner was alerted to the crime after receiving a motion detector alert on his mobile phone. The juveniles were apprehended carrying over $6,000in stolen merchandise from the business. They gained entry by squeezing through a vent and exiting through the main door.

The next day a bike shop was burglarized after business hours by a group of youths, some of whom were also 12. In this case the thieves managed to successfully leave the store with several dirt bikes but were arrested later in their homes.

What’s causing this surge in tween crime? It’s difficult to say. Petty incidents like shoplifting are incredibly common among the age group due to peer pressure, greed and a lack of impulse control. These same factors can magnify and result in greater crimes. In many incidents, younger perpetrators made snap decisions and did not conduct any reconnaissance before deciding to break into a house or business. This makes it even more challenging to determine when such episodes will occur. With older thieves, their image is sometimes caught on a surveillance camera, giving potential victims the chance to stop the crime before it happens.

The rise in young burglaries makes it all the more important to obtain and use the features of a home security system or business alarm. Though police may be able to apprehend the culprits through witnesses or other evidence, these types of skirmishes often end with property damage and loss.

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