Crime Fighters Attack Car-Hopping At it's Source

Published 05/12 2014 06:39PM

Updated 05/12 2014 09:44PM

PEKIN- Pekin is seeing a rash of car burglaries this spring, most of them committed by teenagers.

Crime fighters are attacking the problem at its source by speaking with students at Broadmoor Junior High School in Pekin about the seriousness of the crime.

“I was surprised to know how many kids committed these crimes.” Said Seventh Grader Jaden Muray

Car-hopping is a young person’s crime.

“As young as seventh or eighth grade,” said Pekin Police Department Detective Mike Eeten
“Some of these kids are starting to get into that kind of activity and they are going and lifting car doors and getting into cars.?

“Sometimes they see the door unlocked and they don't think about it. Other times they want to get some change. Maybe they want a new video game.”

Police are talking to these students as a new part of the community’s “Hide, Lock, Take” program.  

“Well the car door is unlocked it's not like I broke the window, It's not like I stole the car. And those are some of the misconceptions that we want to try to address today.”

And they want to address how strict the consequences can be. It’s a minimum of five years probation even if you aren’t the one getting into the vehicle.

“That surprised me. Especially because you're not exactly taking part in a crime but are still a bystander,” said Muray.
“They try and get you to do it, I think you should try and convince them not to do it and try to get them to do something that's a better use of their time,” said Damien Davis-Nelson,”

That’s the message police hope to get across before it’s too late.

This is the first time crime fighters have spoken to the students as part of the “Hide, Lock, Take” program. It has been in Pekin for a couple of years.

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