Police arrest 12 in crackdown
At least two of the juveniles had been arrested before for vandalizing churches.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Village police cracked down on juvenile crime last weekend, arresting a dozen kids for various offenses, and said more arrests are coming if the criminal activity persists.
"It's time to put an end to it," said Sgt. Vincent D'Egidio. "It was putting too much grief on our neighborhoods."
Most of the arrests happened during the pre-dawn hours Saturday morning, and they came after about a month of complaints from village residents about vandalism and other juvenile-related offenses.
"This weekend we just had the opportunity to crack down on them," D'Egidio said. He said officers were on the alert and were able to be in the right places at the right times to catch the alleged juvenile offenders.
Ages and charges
D'Egidio said the juveniles ranged in age from 12 to 15. Most were cited on charges of criminal trespass, curfew violations and failure to comply with police orders. One was cited on a charge of illegally possessing tobacco products.
Nine juveniles were arrested after they were caught behind a doctor's office on Main Street about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, police said. D'Egidio said some of the juveniles told police they were on their way to a party in the village.
Two were cited Thursday night when police say they caught them on the roof of the New Middletown Village Plaza, also on Main Street.
"They were just up there seeing what they could get into," D'Egidio said. He said there was no evidence that the juveniles tried to break into the building, but he said they had been arrested in the past for vandalizing churches in Springfield Township.
One juvenile was arrested Monday at a skate park behind the village municipal building and charged with underage possession of tobacco products.
D'Egidio said only three of the juveniles live in the village. The rest are from Springfield Township and Pennsylvania.
"For some reason they were all just congregating here with us," D'Egidio said.
With school about to start in most area districts, D'Egidio said he expects the criminal activity to slow down. But he warned that police will be watching and ready to arrest any kids who break the law. Their parents also could be cited, since they are legally responsible for their children's actions.
"We've done that before," D'Egidio said. "We'll do it again if we have to."