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5 young people in custody for burglary scheme, evading police

There are many avenues of redemption for minors who accidently get caught up with the wrong crowd. When children get arrested -- for any charge -- there are rehabilitative options like alternative sentencing or juvenile probation that won't put their future at stake.

Last week, four young adults and one juvenile were arraigned in Broward County court on charges of attempted home burglary. According to police reports, the adults in the group forced a juvenile female to knock on the front doors of homes in Lighthouse Point under the auspices of selling magazine subscriptions. That way, the rest of the group would know if someone was home or not.

After the young girl went up to the front door of one house as directed, nobody answered. The elderly home owner said he didn't answer the door because he simply thought he was avoiding a sales pitch. But he called the police after the suspects backed their car up his driveway and reportedly started trying to pry open his garage door with a crowbar. Once police were called, the five fled in their car and a chase ensued. Eventually, they crashed their car into a parked vehicle and a home. According to reports, two of the suspects broke into the home's laundry room and hid in the backyard. Their location was eventually discovered by a police dog and they were taken into custody.

After their apprehension, one of the officers noticed a home monitoring system on one of the men's ankles who had a prior conviction for gun possession. Officers also reported seeing a handgun being thrown out the window of the suspects' car while in pursuit.

During the car chase, two police and sheriff vehicles collided, causing minor injuries to the officers and deputies. One was treated and released from Holy Cross Hospital.

There are many reasons why a juvenile girl would get mixed up with adults who already have prior criminal histories. If she was coerced or threatened, she might be able to avoid a criminal record by telling the truth. Perhaps she will use this as a learning experience and start her adulthood with a clean record.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Four burglary suspects appear in Broward court," Wayne K. Roustan, April 3, 2012

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Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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