Recent teen gun crimes have Neptune Beach residents on edge

Police say teens among several charged in recent crimes involving guns

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Neptune Beach Police have arrested several people, including teenagers, involved in recent crimes that range from speeding to a home invasion robbery on Marsh Point Road.

A 16-year-old is charged in connection with the home invasion robbery on Feb. 7. Police said two replica handguns were recovered during the investigation. At this time, investigators are looking for another suspect.

“Having one at large still doesn’t make me feel very good. I will have to really watch things more closely in the future,” said an elderly resident within the community.

His uneasiness was shared by other residents, all of whom declined to be identified.

One said the area is filled with rental properties and there’s lots of turnover with who lives there.

A few said they wouldn’t have expected the crime in their area because it’s always felt safe, and one young mother said she’s even considering a move.

Police said four people, including two teenagers, were arrested Feb. 24 during a traffic stop on Atlantic Boulevard. Police said during the incident, they confiscated two additional guns, one of which was stolen.

“We are seeing more teenagers involved in violent crimes, more felonious types of crimes,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. “They are getting guns, breaking into homes and businesses, robbing people, going into businesses with weapons, going into businesses and stealing weapons, so there is an uptick in juvenile crime going on right now. We try to look at the cause of it, and we don’t know, other than we are in a pandemic.”

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