By Natasha Robin | WVUE | March 4, 2021
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – When police arrested a juvenile on Tuesday, they say they found a stolen black Glock, a rifle and several rounds of bullets.
“Something is definitely wrong if a juvenile can have his hands on those types of weapons,” says Cynthia Podolak.
The 17-year-old is accused of committing 59 crimes across New Orleans.
The teenager is accused of more than 30 burglaries in the 1st district, 5th district and 6th district.
“Every one of those burglaries, there’s criminal damage which likely means the car was damaged when he broke in, which means every one of those victims had to reach into their pockets to pay for the repairs,” says Rafael Goyeneche.
Police say he’s also charged with drug possession, drug distribution and illegal possession of firearms by a juvenile. Investigators says the 17-year-old committed an armed robbery in the 1100 block of Jackson Avenue.
“I think that’s absolutely terrifying especially since I’m new to the neighborhood, trying to make friends, and still walking a lot of locations,” says Podolak.
The NOPD’s Violent Offender Warrant Squad, and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested the teen.
“So, they don’t give warrants to the Marshal Service to go get property thieves. They considered him violent, not just because of the armed robbery. Look at the weaponry they found in his possession. Look at the magazine and the ammunition,” says Goyeneche.
The juvenile is accused of committing the crimes over the past couple of months.
“This is a serious offender, but the luckiest thing that happened to him is that he hadn’t had his 18th birthday when he committed these crimes because under the new policy, he doesn’t have to worry about being prosecuted as an adult for the armed robbery,” says Goyeneche.
Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission is referring to the D.A.’s new policy to never prosecute juveniles as adults.
District Attorney Jason Williams says his office is working to hold juvenile offenders accountable, but in appropriate ways. Williams says his office will focus on rehabilitation.
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