Recent Juvenile Crimes Start of Summer Crime Wave?

Area residents say they are frightened by the recent juvenile crimes in our communities.
Local law enforcement officials say there's usually a rise in crimes committed by juveniles during the summer, which makes some people think about protecting themselves.
Kandice Johnson says about two months ago someone broke into her home in Tallahassee.
Johnson says the suspect was caught on home surveillance and he looked like a teenager.
She said, "When my partner's not here, I'm kind of on pins and needles thinking are they going to try again tonight? It kind of makes me feel a little unsafe."
Nineteen year old Justin Footman and four juveniles were arrested Sunday night for breaking into the Tallahassee Flea Market and stealing go-karts and four wheelers.
Just before 5:00 Monday morning two juveniles were arrested for breaking into or trying to break into at least six cars in Lakewood Village Neighborhood.
In a nearby neighborhood, Miesha Belford says she heard noises outside of her bedroom window a few weeks ago when her neighbor was burglarized.
Belford said, "They actually broke into her garage and stole her purse and the towing company across the street found her purse in their driveway. Credit cards and money and everything else was still in there so it was more than likely some juveniles."
Tallahassee Police say five people described as teenagers robbed the manager of Pizza Hut at 1610 Capital Circle Northeast around 11:00 Monday night.
Authorities say they are prepared for this time of year with additional resources such as cop squads, a gang unit, and additional officers on the street.
Law enforcement officials say parents can help by being involved in their kids' lives.

Here are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council:

--Organize neighborhood cleanup days to send the message that your community is closed to thieves, vandals, and loiterers.
--Ask the police to increase patrols of your neighborhood.
--Sponsor a Neighborhood Watch.
--Be sure the outside doors of your home or business have strong deadbolt locks.
--Keep spare keys with a trusted neighbor or nearby shopkeeper, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.
--Lock gates, garage doors, and shed doors after every use.
--Illuminate or eliminate places an intruder might hide: the spaces between trees or shrubbery, stairwells, alleys, hallways, and entryways.
--Set timers on lights when you’re away from home or your business is closed so it appears to be occupied.
--Keep your bike and sports equipment inside the house when they’re not in use.
--Avoid confrontations with burglars.

Also, the Tallahassee Police Department offers gang prevention resources during summer. There are many excellent resources currently available. Some of these programs provide activities for youth to become involved in, while others offer assistance for families struggling with issues related to gang involvement. For a list of the programs go to the As Seen On WCTV section of this website.