7 teens charged in home burglary

Published 11:00 am Monday, July 28, 2014

Acting on a home alarm alert and a tip from a witness who saw several individuals run from a home in the Mt. Hermon area on July 24, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene and discovered that a home had been forcefully entered and burglarized.

Officers were able to locate a group of seven juvenile males who fit the description given by the witness. The juveniles were detained for questioning and determined to be the persons who had committed the illegal home entry and burglary.

All seven juveniles, ages 13, 15 and 17, were arrested, transported to the Washington Parish Jail and charged with burglary and criminal damage to property. Six of the juveniles, ages 13 and 15, were released under custodial agreement to their parent or guardian.

The seventh, Dontrae Jefferson, 17, a resident of Buster Spears Road, was booked into the Washington Parish Jail. Bond for Jefferson has not been set at this time.

The identities of the other juveniles are being withheld because of their ages.

“It concerns me to see parish youngsters involved in criminal activity,” Sheriff Randy Seal said. “Actions like this often are a prelude to a lifestyle of criminal behavior that ultimately leads to jail and prison.

“We are duty bound to arrest any person who commits a crime, regardless of the age of the criminal, and we will do just that. If our parish youngsters need a group to run with, then they should find that group in church or in an organized community activity that includes adult supervision.”

Seal also had words of advice for parents and guardians.

“Know where your children are, and know what they are doing,” he said. “Set guidelines for them and enforce those guidelines.

“Love your children enough to discipline them when they do wrong. Hold them accountable for their misdeeds and help guide and mentor them to a healthy lifestyle and a mindset that is focused on positive things.”