Toledo Police seeing an increase in violent crimes committed by juveniles

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Several violent crimes committed in the past few weeks are getting a lot of police attention. Police say many of the recent armed robberies have been committed by teens.

According to police crime logs, over the past three weeks there has been a large spike in the amount of violent robberies committed by juveniles.

Police say crimes, including a man shot in the chin, a robbery with shots fired and a young family robbed and pistol whipped, have been committed by 16- and 17-year-olds over the last month.

"It's shocking that this many happened this close together," said Lucas County Juvenile Prosecutor Lori Olander.

Bureau officials say detectives are working overtime to solve all the recent aggravated robberies. They also say various people are committing these crimes for various reasons.

Olander says many of the recent robberies either involve feeding a drug habit or they are gang related.

"When it's a gang related thing, we have so many gangs out there now and they're jumping these kids into gangs at such a young age, that with gang violence I don't know if I see it going away anytime soon," said Olander.

Olander says the Juvenile Detention Center's main goal is to first rehabilitate teens that commit crimes rather than locking them up. She says it is also about keeping the community safe.

Right now about 30 teens are being held in the Juvenile Detention Center, including those charged with recent violent armed robberies.

Despite the increase in juvenile crimes, there has still been a decrease in felony crimes during the first half of 2014, compared to the first half of 2013.

Detention Statistics (first six months of 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011)

Felony Persons:

2014 – 54

2013 – 72

2012 – 67

2011 – 61

Felony Property:

2014 – 58

2013 – 83

2012 – 82

2011 – 105

Felony Weapons:

2014 – 6

2013 – 16

2012 – 26

2011 – 19

Reductions from 2013 (first six months) to 2014 (first six months):

Felony Person – Down 25%

Felony Property – Down 30%

Felony Weapons – Down 62%

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