Increase in juveniles with guns, committing crimes involving the police

Sept. 5—The number of juvenile arrest charges has doubled in Dayton this year compared to last year, and police are concerned about the increase they’ve seen in teenagers carrying guns.

“The numbers concern me,” Dayton Police Department Maj. Brian Jones said. “Nearly 1,000 crimes, and while most of them are misdemeanors, gun crime is worrisome because they have such tragic results.”

There were 986 arrest charges filed against children under 18 from Jan. 1 to Aug. 28, Dayton police said. In the same time period last year there were 446 categories of minors and 459 in 2020. In 2019 and 2018 there were 899 and 1,021 respectively.

Dayton’s had several troubling incidents involving children accused of committing crimes this year. In January, authorities say teenagers shot and killed Brandon Cooper who was driving for Lyft. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to transfer the case to adult court. An order issued Friday says Montgomery County Juvenile Judge Ellen Wallace found probable cause in their cases and the teenagers will return to court in November.

Also earlier this year, a teenager was charged in a non-fatal shooting inside an RTA bus. Prosecutors are trying to take the case to adult court and it is still pending.

There were two serious incidents in August involving minors. A teenager has been charged with aggravated arson in connection with a house fire on Rockcliff Circle and a 14-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed by his 17-year-old older brother while taking photos for social media, police said. .

Prosecutors said the 17-year-old was charged in the case, but has not yet entered a plea.

There have been 63 incidents of juveniles in Dayton in possession of firearms this year, Johns said, which is more than this time in 2020 and 2021.

“We’re seeing more (juvenile gun crime) and unfortunately we’re seeing very bad results from that,” Jones said.

Parents need to take more responsibility to prevent these kinds of tragedies, Johns said.

“It seems like the issue is that nobody is watching these kids or supervising these kids and I think that’s a big problem that we have,” said the major.

He said that in many cases, children are out and about unsupervised and parents need to know where their children are and who they are hanging out with.

He also said that locking up firearms is as important as ever because minors have often acquired improperly stored firearms.

“If you have a gun in your home, take the proper protocols to secure the gun,” Jones said. “At the Dayton Police Department, we have free gun locks that we give out to people and have for years. You can lock your gun so people, especially young people, can’t get hold of them and hurt themselves or others .”

Along with gun-related crime, police suspect teenagers have been more responsible for vehicle theft this year. Jones said juveniles will steal a car and do many things while in possession of it.

“A lot of times they find them and the joy drives them and they drive or tear the car up or commit another crime with the vehicle,” Jones said.

Dayton police said they are working to address an increase in motor vehicle thefts in the city. He said people should consider using a wireless GPS fob or key locator.

“These are small devices that are usually attached to key chains or other valuables and can be used to track and locate items usually through an app installed on your cell phone,” Dayton Police said. “In this case, it could be useful to place one of these devices in a hard-to-find spot on your vehicle. In the unfortunate event that a vehicle is stolen, the owner can locate the vehicle via the key using the app on their mobile phone” .

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The number of arrest charges that children have faced in Dayton between January 1st and August 28th.

2022: 986

2021: 446

2020: 459

2019: 899

2018: 1,021

Source: Dayton Police Department

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