Tallahassee Church Fights Youth Crime

By: Laura Kadechka
By: Laura Kadechka

It's strike two for a 10-year-old caught on the wrong side of the law. He was charged last week for stealing checks out of mailboxes.

Tuesday he was arrested for breaking into a church van. However, the church pastor says it may not be just a case of a bad kid.

Keisha Hayes was getting ready to take a group of children home from a church day care program when she noticed someone was inside the church van.

Keisha says, ”We wondered who would be in the van on a day like today and the day care owner said, ‘hey, what are you doing in there?’ The child just bolts out and runs, and we were almost in unbelief."

K.C. Yarborough, the church pastor, chased down the child. It was a 10-year-old and it wasn't his first time in trouble.

K.C. Yarborough said, "He said he had nothing else to do."

Yarborough says that's where the problem is and this one child is not alone in the Sabal Palm community. Before they moved into the building a year ago Yarborough says it had been ransacked by youth vandals, and the problem hasn't stopped.

Keisha Hayes says, "We've had children tamper with the doors trying to get in. We really have to pray for this area."

Instead of getting mad, Yarborough says he's trying to do something to help these kids and give them something to do. He's seeking grant money to build a youth center, one less excuse for youth crime.

K.C. Yarborough says, "A 10-year-old boy went to jail today because he had nowhere to go and he found breaking into someone's vehicle fun."

Yarborough says he'll be there with that 10-year-old in court. He plans to ask the judge to allow him to mentor the child rather than send him through the system.


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