GRIFFIN, Ga. — A child in Griffin is now facing more than 80 charges related to car break-ins and trespassing across the city.
Police say they arrested a 12-year-old boy on Wednesday after several businesses on the N. Expressway Corridor reported cars had been broken into.
Business owners were able to share surveillance footage with police to help identify the boy.
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Investigators say more charges are coming for the 12-year-old.
While investigators charged the juvenile, some members of the community say they’re not shocked, and that it’s an example of how bad crime involving children has gotten.
Some members of the community in Griffin say they’re getting desensitized to children committing serious crimes.
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Resident Sharon Wilson said that crimes committed by youths used to be different.
“It used to be older but now it’s...” she paused. “I’m just not shocked.
Another resident, Mike Willis, isn’t surprised either.
“Not today,” Willis said. “Maybe years ago it would have [been surprising]. Every week now, it’s something different.”
The Griffin Police Department told Channel 2 Action News that the pre-teen is accused of breaking into 84 cars along the North Expressway and also faces five counts of criminal trespass. Surveillance footage helped officers identify him.
Dino, who owns a local party store, says too many kids are out of control because of gang activity and a lack of education. He also said broken families are a factor.
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“Family need to be united, I think it’s an un-united family that lets these kids roam the streets at night,” Dino told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.
Reginald Watts, a minister who works with the Urban Outreach Association, works to help kids stay on the right track, and said the arrest of the 12-year-old was disturbing.
He wants to help, but his organization is low on resources to do so.
“If I had more resources, I could get more help,” Watts told Channel 2 Action News.
He said that he could hire more staff, more mentors, and more mental health professionals to help change young lives and keep them on the right path.
“At 12 years old, his life shouldn’t be ruined,” Watts said about the juvenile.
Because he is a juvenile, the child’s name is not being released.
He is being charged with 84 counts of entering auto and five counts of criminal trespass. Police say more charges are pending, but aren’t releasing any details about the break-ins, or what was taken, yet.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should call police at 770-229-6452.
To help Watts’ organization, go online to see how you can contribute.
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