17 Juveniles Arrested In Prairie Grove As Summer Kicks Off

PRAIRIE GROVE (KFSM)-- In less than a month, Prairie Grove police arrested 17 juveniles for various crimes including breaking and entering as well as theft of property.

Captain Jeff O'Brien with the department said they usually see kids committing crimes like this once school ends.

Arresting 17 in such a short amount of time is very unusual for them though.

He said the average age of those they have arrested is 16 to 17 years old.

"From the few that have talked to us, it comes down to its easy money," O'Brien said. "Its easy to find something of value, take it, sell it and make the money off of it. Its just easy targets. All the vehicles that have been broken into have been unlocked. So it’s a crime of opportunity for these kids."

The two subdivisions he said have been a hot spot for activity include the Prairie Meadows and Sundowner Ranch areas.

Britta Herzog has lived in Sundowner for ten years now.

She agreed with O'Brien saying she too sees kids out and about in the neighborhood but they have never done anything criminal.

"I mean if its innocent enough, we just send them home and say we are going to call your mom," Herzog said. "Its become non innocent anymore when they are trying to make a profit or breaking and entering into people’s personal belongings."

When she heard how many kids had been arrested so far, she was stunned.

Her first thought was to ask where the parents were.

To combat the increase in incidents, O'Brien said they have had officers volunteer their time off to come patrol.

O'Brien said those officers have done an excellent job.

They just ask that those who have had items taken to make a report no matter what was stolen.

Herzog suggested that there needs to be more parental involvement.

She said parents should find something for their kids to do during the day.