JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four teenagers were arrested last month and accused of breaking into a Westside gun store to steal guns, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.
JSO said the four teens — 16, 15, 13 and 13 — used a crowbar to break into the store and took eight guns, six pistols and two rifles.
After they left the store, the teens had to come back because one of them left a bag and two cell phones, JSO said. When they returned they were met by the owner of the store who saw them and called police after the teens took off running.
Officers eventually chased down one of the teens right away and later arrested the other three.
Investigators were able to recover three pistols and one rifle, but the other guns are still missing.
JSO said it was the first felony arrest for all of the teens.
JSO said it will be up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide the charges the teens will face.
In addition, JSO said the two 13-year-old suspects are also accused in a robbery that took place a couple of days before where they allegedly took car keys from an elderly woman. She was not harmed.
Thursday’s announcement comes a day after JSO announced the arrest of four teenagers in an unrelated case on charges in a triple murder.
The Jacksonville MADDADS organization says that it takes effort from everyone to keep young people on the straight an narrow. Mike Bruno, JSO’s director of investigations, said police cannot be the only means of intervention.
“They have to be taught values, morals and empathy for their fellow man,” Bruno said.
A.J. Jordan, vice president of MAD DADS, agrees with Bruno’s statement but points out that services for at-risk youth require more money.
“A lot of these groups like MAD DADS and Families of Slain Children, we have programs but we don’t have the funding. We need the funding so we can get those 13 year olds, 10 year olds, 16-year olds into good programs such as MAD DADS, Families of Slain Children and others.”