Seattle Focuses On Juvenile Gun Crimes


The burglar who stole 53 pistols from a Washington state gun store didn’t just kick in a door or a window. Using a circular saw and other tools, the 17-year-old boy cut and smashed a small hole through the store’s back wall, and snuck through without triggering the alarm, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. What he did with most of the guns remains a mystery. Although he was convicted and has served his sentence, the case remains open 10 months later. Only two guns were recovered.

Juveniles can buy a gun on the streets often easier than a car, some local law enforcement experts say, and often from sellers their own age. Licensed gun stores typically are well secured, so burglars rarely target them. Many more guns are stolen from homes or cars. In Seattle, about 300 guns were reported taken from a house or a vehicle in 2007. “Burglars really love guns. They’re easy to sell in the black market, and they can get lots of money for them,” said Bob Scales, who researches gun crimes and trafficking for the city of Seattle. With a rise in youth violence, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recently directed prosecutors to explore ways they could get tougher sentences on juvenile gun crimes.

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