ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – Law enforcement officers in Aberdeen said they’ve seen an unusually high amount of serious juvenile crimes this summer, particularly vehicle thefts.
Captain Tanner Jondahl with the Aberdeen Police Department said it’s typical to see a spike in juvenile crimes after school gets out in May.
This summer, however, multiple groups of juveniles have been arrested for strings of crimes such as vandalism, stolen vehicles, and theft of items such as guns from unlocked vehicles.
According to a report from the Aberdeen Police Department, there was only one instance of a criminal entry of a motor vehicle among juvenile crimes in 2022. There were six grand theft offenses among juveniles in 2022 as well.
Brown County Deputy State’s Attorney Karla Nelson reiterated that crimes involving vehicles and juveniles do tend to intensify during the summer, mainly because kids have more free time on their hands.
Brown County Diversion Coordinator Kelsi Vinger said when youth don’t have the regular schedule they do during the school year, it can lead them to making the wrong choices.
According to Jondahl, most juvenile crimes happen between midnight and 4 a.m. Aberdeen Police recommend the best way to prevent vehicle thefts is to make sure vehicles are secured.