Tuesday, May 21, 2013
12- and 13-Year-Old Boys Arrested in Shell Robbery
Held up store with hunting rifle
Anchorage police arrested two of the people behind Wednesday's armed robbery at a Shell Gas station in Fairview. Turns out, the suspects aren't even adults. Police say they're boys and they're only 12 and 13 years.
Kids are not exactly the people you think of when you’re talking about robberies. But in today's times, police and juvenile justice say it is happening more often, which is why they say we all have to be proactive in keeping them away from negative behaviors that could ruin their lives.
There was a lot of fear and chaos in Fairview Wednesday after a gunpoint robbery at the nearby Shell Gas station sent armed police looking for the suspects in a search that ended with arrests of two people most of us wouldn't believe could do it: a 12 year old and his accomplice a 13 year old both of them boys.
“We don't have this kind of crime that occurs very often where our defendants are that young,” said Lt. Dave Parker, spokesperson for Anchorage police. “The fact is young people are capable of committing crimes.” It’s an alarming situation that most residents were shocked to hear.
“Yes indeed it surely does surprise me,” said one Fairview resident. “I just can't imagine.”
“Its sad that our young youth are doing that now a days,” said another resident.
With the two boys in custody at McLaughlin right now, the question is what could have been done to prevent this? It’s something those who work with kids say starts with what we are teaching them. “Sometimes we don't catch these kids quick enough before these big offenses happen,” said Heidi Redick, a supervisor in McLaughlin Youth Center. “So the response is how do this child that is having issues reconnected.”
It’s a problem the state's juvenile justice system deals with daily. In McLaughlin there are between 125 to 175 youth that are involved in the diversion, court and treatment units, where officers look at what brought them to the facility and figure out what needs to be done to help them succeed.
“Whether its shoplifting, marijuana at school we are having an intake officer meeting with them with the hope being if we intervene early,” said Lee Post, a supervisor with McLaughlin Youth Center. But part of that intervention means reaching out to kids beyond just parents. “Its the community being aware, its the schools being aware, its the program that are out there to support these families,” said Redick.
“I don't know what these kids family situation is, all I know is we have a 12 year old with a long gun pointing it at the face at a clerk at a gas station robbing them of money,” said Parker. “That has an effect on that kid the rest of his life.”
McLaughlin officials say the best way to keep track of our kids is by following the basics: doing simple things like talking to them, knowing that their friends are and helping them in engage in positive activities, and also in dealing with firearms keeping them under lock and key is important to keeping them from being used improperly.