“Pack Robberies” By Youth Rising Nationwide, Chiefs Say


Washington, D.C., police are seeing a growing number of teenagers and young adults traveling in groups to assault and rob unsuspecting citizens, a trend that mirrors crimes in cities across the U.S., the Washington Post reports. In an eight-hour period last week, five people were attacked by juveniles in separate incidents, including an armed carjacking, in one neighborhood. In the past month, there have been between seven and 11 “pack robberies” in or near another areas, said Police Chief Cathy Lanier. “They’re looking for someone who has a cellphone or someone using an iPod. Or they’re just looking for some fast cash or a credit card,” Lanier said. “You’ll have a lone person walking, and there are five young males or more, and it’s ridiculous. There’s no need to beat people in those circumstances, but that’s what they do. Just senseless.”

At last week’s Police Executive Research Forum national violent-crime summit police chiefs exchanged stories about the spate of robberies and juvenile crimes, said director Chuck Wexler. Although the robbery totals posted by cities decreased in the past two years, they remain higher than in 2004, he said. PERF, which tracks statistics in 56 cities, has pinpointed an “explosive increase” of juveniles participating in robberies, Wexler said. Lanier, who attended the crime summit, was struck by the parallels between the recent attacks in Washington and those in other cities. She said chiefs at the session were “saying the same thing: that this has become a real crime trend.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/12/AR2008101201870.html

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