Greensburg battles juvenile crime

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GREENSBURG, Ind. (February 5, 2015) – A small city is trying to deal with more and more teens getting into trouble.   In the past two years, the number of juveniles arrested has more than doubled and police say enough is enough.

In 2012, 76 juveniles were arrested.

In 2013, 115 juveniles were arrested.

Last year, 168 juveniles were arrested.

“If we have to put our foot down to get our message across we will at this point in time,” explains Chief Brendan Bridges, with the Greensburg Police Department.

Teens were mostly arrested for underage drinking, theft, and trespassing.  Last year, a few juveniles got into a vacant building downtown, trashed the place, and caused nearly $10,000 in damages.

Police are also getting a lot of reports of kids climbing on roofs of downtown businesses and jumping from roof to roof. It happened to Tom Stricker at his archery shop, The Cutting Edge and he called the cops.  “There were some kids up on the roof running around. (I was) worried about them flipping off the front of the building or falling through could’ve been worse,” explains, Tom Stricker, owner of The Cutting Edge.

Stricker said he’s had graffiti sprayed on his building and even caught kids on his surveillance cameras stealing from his vehicle.

Chief Bridges is working with schools, churches, and prosecutors to help get kids off the streets.  “If they continue to act up they are going to face the stricter disciplines and they will be getting sent off.  It’s not just going to be a slap on the wrist or probation. They are going to get sent off,” explains Chief Bridges.

So far in 2015, police have arrested around 15 juveniles.

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