Juvenile Crime Spree Broken Up

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Harrison Pirtle
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Updated: 9/13/2013 6:44 pm
DALTON/WHITFIELD CO., GA (WDEF) -- Whitfield county officers say they have put an end to a 2 month criminal investigation, and made 6 arrests.
But this story is not what it seems.
This organized crime spree was staged by kids.

SHERIFF SCOTT CHITWOOD, WHITFIELD CO. "I think it started very easily it could have been a practical joke and saw they were successful and certainly elevated to more serious crimes."

Six juveniles were responsible for literally hundreds of criminal incidents starting back in the summer.
One was 15, another 16, two were 14 years old...and the suspected leader was 17 years old.
John Parrish has been charged as an adult.

SHERIFF SCOTT CHITWOOD "Apparently the common denominator that we've figured out is these young men have..loved to skateboard..hanging out at a skating ring and skateboard park and stuff...so they would do that during the day and go out and be adventurers during the evenings."

The sheriff says all of the teens have admitted their part in the criminal activity which included a hundred separate incidents of breaking into vehicles at the Walnut Square Mall.
They stole seven cars throughout the city...even a taxi. But they also committee crimes as far away as Varnell.
They were all taken to the Whitfield county Regional Youth Detention Center to be charged.
The director of the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department says this case is not what he usually sees among the city's 25-thousand young people.

STEVE CARD, DIR. DALTON PARKS AND RECREATION DEPT. "I would think it would be very unusual. " "You know a lot of that happens with idle time...you know obviously as we come into the generation of latch key kids..and divorce rates where there are a lot of kids growing up in today's society."

The sheriff says the boys are from all parts of the city and met at the skateboard park.

One of the boys, a juvenile, was released a few days later and returned to school.
He was discovered stealing an IPAD and brought back to the jail for more charges.

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