Several recent unrelated crimes in Sioux Falls all have one thing in common — they involved teenagers.
From a string of burglaries to a home invasion, it seems there’s been an uptick in teen crime over the past few weeks.
“I think during the summer we do see a little bit more crime that involves teenagers,” said Officer Sam Clemens, Sioux Falls Police Dept.
There have been three recent serious crimes involving teens.
First, an early morning home invasion in July. Police say five teenagers attempted to rob an apartment on South Louise Avenue for drugs and money.
This case, police say, is eerily similar to the 2013 Jordan Lebeau case, which ended in murder.
Just two weeks later, three 17-year-olds were arrested for a string of home burglaries in the McKennan Park neighborhood.
The teens were caught on camera using stolen credit cards at a Sioux Falls Walmart.
Most recently, a 17-year-old was shot in the leg at Dunham Park during a drug robbery. A 16-year-old and 21-year-old have been arrested for the crime.
In all, nine teenagers have ended up behind bars as a result of the three incidents, and multiple others have been injured.
Despite the high volume of teen crime, Clemens doesn’t necessarily think this is a new trend.
“We’re going to see more crime anyway in the summer because more people are out with the nicer weather and we always see an increase with that,” said Clemens.
Clemens says many of the crimes that may have been committed by teenagers are often difficult to solve. That’s when they turn to school resource officers for help.
“They pretty much know all of these kids and can identify them,” said Clemens.
“We deal with criminal activity that will occur within the school or even outside of the school,” said Officer Jon Gannon.
Gannon has worked as a school resource officer at Roosevelt High School for several years.
“We get assigned cases where juveniles have made poor choices and have committed crimes,” said Gannon.
Gannon says he helps detectives solve the crimes that happen both in and out of school.
“We are able to help them out by getting them contact information and even maybe setting up a time to meet with a student,” said Gannon.
For the most part, Gannon deals with the same repeat offenders. But occasionally, there are new faces. And that, says Clemens, is the real problem.
“The bad thing is that there are other kids coming up right behind them that are doing the exact same thing.”
More teen arrests are still expected in the home invasion case.