Gadsden County, Quincy law enforcement address recent spike in crime

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) - A deadly home invasion and a spree of business break-ins are just two examples of what law enforcement in Gadsden County have been responding to recently.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, community and law enforcement leaders shared the same message: everyone needs to do their part.

Sheriff Morris Young said it is time for change following this recent crime wave.

Community leaders are emphasizing the importance of the “Lock it or Lose it” campaign, encouraging everyone to lock their home and car doors at all times and make sure their valuables are out of sight, according to Young.

Young said more than 80% of thefts in the county happen because people left the doors unlocked. He said teenagers are committing many of the crimes in the area, and it is time to crack down on them, as well as their parents.

“When you see a child this young doing some of the extreme things at an early age... Some of them are going from zero to 100 where they’ve never been in trouble, never had issues, and now all of a sudden they’re running with other gang members going into somebody’s house or into their yard either stealing their vehicle, breaking into the vehicle or breaking into the home,” Young said.

Young also told WCTV that guns are a big problem right now. Many people are leaving their doors unlocked, allowing thieves the opportunity to steal them and potentially using them for future robberies or break-ins.

“More people will end up dead if they don’t put a stop to this now,” he said.

WCTV reporter Staci Inez spoke to many people in the Quincy community, and they told her they are afraid of the recent crime trend.

17-year-old Avion Stephens, who attended Monday’s press conference, said he feels responsible to keep his peers out of trouble.

“I’m 17, and I know a lot of people that do stuff that’s not right,” Stephens said. “I feel like the home invasions are getting kinda worse in the county, and I feel like I needed to come and learn and give other people guidance to stop and get your education.”

Stephens said he wants people his age to focus on school and other positive activities to keep themselves out of trouble.

“You don’t have to steal from everybody,” Stephens said. “Go get a job.”

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